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Statement of the MFA of the Republic of Abkhazia concerning the European Parliament Resolution on the EU – Georgia Association Agreement.

On November 17, 2011, the European Parliament adopted the Resolution P7_TA-PROV (2011) 0514 "Negotiations of the EU - Georgia Association Agreement."

There is adherence to "territorial integrity" of Georgia in the Resolution, in particular, as well as a call to the Russian Federation to reverse its independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and both Republics are declared as "occupied territories". The European Parliament appears to demand from the Russian Federation to guarantee the full and unrestricted access to the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia for the European Union Monitoring Mission. In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia states the following.

Recognition by the European Parliament of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as "occupied territories" is beneath any criticism. According to Article 42 of the Hague Convention of 1907 on "Laws and Customs of War on Land", "a territory is considered as occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised." None of this corresponds to the real situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russian armed forces are quartered on the territory of the sovereign republics, in full compliance with the signed agreements between them. Functions of state governance in these Republics are not carried out by military authorities of a foreign army, but by local authorities through their elected representatives, as in any other sovereign democratic state.

The resolution contains a call to Russia on the need for withdrawal of recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Such inadequate statements of European Parliament, supporting the mythical "territorial integrity" of Georgia, are an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states that have strengthened their strategic partnership by interstate agreements. Leadership of the Russian Federation, on behalf of the President and the Prime Minister, has repeatedly declared irrevocable decisions with regard to diplomatic recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The text of the resolution also demands the Russian Federation to extend the mandate of the EU Monitoring Mission in Abkhazia. Thus, following Georgia, there is an attempt made to present the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts as a Russian-Georgian one. However, the absurdity of such view of the situation is obvious to anyone. The Georgian-Abkhaz conflict has a long history, and does not derive from conflicts between Georgia and other states. The decision on the presence of any international missions and organizations, including the EU, on the territory of Abkhazia, is adopted only by the leadership of Abkhazia and not someone else.

Against the background of explicit unilateral position of the European institutions in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, it is surprising to see the call of the European Parliament for admission of the European Union Monitoring Mission to the territory of Abkhazia. As long as such biased and tendentious approach will prevail in the EU's position, that takes into account the interests and positions of only one side of the conflict - Georgia, as clearly evidenced by the present resolution, it is not realistic to talk about the possibility of presence of European observers on the sovereign territory of Abkhazia.

It should be emphasized once again that Georgia is the major source of instability in the South Caucasus. Evidence of Georgia's aggressive policy towards its neighbors are, in particular, the war against Abkhazia in 1992-1993, the attempt of military intervention in Abkhazia in 1998, the war against South Ossetia in 2008. During the war in 1992-1993 against the people Abkhazia, Georgia has committed numerous war crimes. Commander of the Georgian army has threatened publicly the Abkhaz people with total genocide. Georgian troops annihilated four percent of the population of Abkhazia, burned to the ground the National Archives of Abkhazia and academic institutions with their invaluable collections, looted everything they came across leaving a flourishing country in ruins. All this has passed unnoticed by the international community and all this is cynically ignored by the European Parliament.

Acts of sabotage and terrorism of Georgia on the territory of Abkhazia, including kidnappings still continue. The fate of David Sigua, the Chief Electoral Officer of the Gal district, who was kidnapped in 2007 by the Georgian Special Services from his home, still remains unknown. Lately, four other cases of abduction of the residents of Abkhazia by Georgian Special Services were recorded. Some of the detainees were subjected to torture or inhuman treatment; they were denied to the assistance of independent lawyers as well as visits of relatives and representatives of international humanitarian organizations. Aggressive actions of the Georgian authorities against the citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia are in direct violation of the Sarkozy-Medvedev Agreement and certain other obligations undertaken by official Tbilisi. Anything similar is not even mentioned in the EP resolution.

It is deeply regrettable that the European Parliament members so unanimously and openly voted for biased and unilateral Resolution and demonstrated their full commitment and desire to ignore the existing regional political realities. There was not a single attempt to listen to the other side, to send to Abkhazia and South Ossetia missions to determine the reality of Georgian statements on "military occupation".

Abkhazian statehood has stood the test of time, despite the brutal war and subsequent inhumane blockade imposed by Georgia. Modern Abkhazia is a dynamically developing free and democratic European state, based on the supremacy of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of national minorities. Anyone who visits and explores our country can be convinced of that. The most striking evidence of democratic processes in Abkhazia is the legitimate change of power, something that has never been in neighboring mired in coups Georgia, and something that Western admirers of the authoritarian regime of Saakashvili stubbornly refuse to notice. Presidential elections in Abkhazia are held in the atmosphere of fair and competitive struggle, as evidenced by numerous international observers, experts and journalists.

Abkhazia is ready to become a responsible member of the European family of nations, an important element of regional stability. Its sovereign status is recognized to date by six UN member-states, and nothing, including the biased resolutions, can bring the people of Abkhazia back under Tbilisi's control. The process of further strengthening of the statehood of Abkhazia, as well as recognition of our country by other countries of the world is irreversible. The sooner this is understood in Europe, including the European Parliament, the closer will be the final resolution of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict.

Sukhum, 22/11/2011

Source: MFA Abkhazia 

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