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UN Security Council Adopts Resolution on Abkhazia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 13 Apr.'07 / 20:37
Civil Georgia

The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Abkhazia on April 13 calling on the Georgian side to ensure that the situation in the upper Kodori Gorge was in line with the 1994 Moscow agreement on ceasefire and on the Abkhaz side to exercise restraint in relation to the Georgian presence in the gorge.  

The resolution also extended the mandate of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) for another six months, until October 15.
 
The resolution also calls on both sides to resume dialogue, to address seriously each other’s legitimate security concerns, to refrain from any actions that might impede the peace process and to extend the necessary cooperation to UNOMIG and the CIS peacekeeping forces “as they currently play an important stabilizing role in the conflict zone.” 

The resolution condemns the March 11 attack on villages in the upper Kodori Gorge, stresses that the situation on the ground in the areas of security, return of internally displaced persons and rehabilitation and development must be improved and calls on both sides to resume dialogue without preconditions in these areas, using all existing mechanisms, including quadripartite meetings.

Georgia’s UN Envoy Irakli Alasania said shortly after the resolution was adopted that the new resolution reflected all major requirements of Georgia and acknowledges the progress made by the Georgian side in impelementing the previous resolution.

“The resolution has all main components that we wanted. First of all, it again reaffirms the territorial integrity of Georgia, that the conflict should be decided within the frames of the Boden document,” Alasania said at a news briefing in New York.
 
The Boden Document, which is a Paper on Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competencies between Tbilisi and Sokhumi, envisages broad autonomy for Abkhazia within Georgia.
 
Alasania also said that the document calls for the return of IDPs and refugees to Abkhazia, and, for the first time, calls for the return of those who were born after the end of hostilities.
 
“At the same time, the Council calls for both sides, and this is a Georgian proposal, to have direct dialogue with the Abkhaz side to resolve outstanding issues. So, I think that the resolution is one more step towards the conflict resolution process, but at the same time we believe that these upcoming six months should be used to implement on the ground the IDP return commitments. So, Georgia would stand ready to continue working with the Group of Friends and I want to thank the Group of Friends for working with us,” the Georgian envoy said.
 
Alasania also stressed that the resolution acknowledges progress in the implementation of the October resolution, which focused on the Tbilisi-controlled upper Kodori Gorge. He also said that the Secretary General’s reports actually confirm that the Georgian side is in line with the ceasefire agreement. “The Georgian side will continue to be in line with the ceasefire agreement, which is our obligation,” Alasania added.
 
“At the same time, what is very important, we have very clear condemnation of the attack on Upper Abkhazia of Georgia on March 11. And we are waiting for the final results of the investigation,” Alasania said.
 
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on April 13 which said that the Russian side had supported the resolution because it reflected “Russian priorities.”
 
“The resolution has become an important step towards making progress in the Georgian-Abkhaz settlement. It is of principled importance that this decision of the Security Council definitely reflects the previous resolution and its key elements,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
 
“At the insistence of the Russian side, the resolution included a provision, which calls on the Georgian side to ensure that the situation in the upper Kodori Gorge is in line with the 1994 Moscow Ceasefire Agreement,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
 
The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed discontent that Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba was not granted an entry visa by the U.S. Embassy to attend the UN Security Council session.
 
“The Russian Federation hopes that at the subsequent stages in the discussion of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict at the UN Security Council, any artificial obstacles for Shamba’s participation will be pushed aside,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
 
However, Georgia's UN Envoy Irakli Alasania said that the representatives of the separatist regimes would never be allowed to be at the Council.
 
“I think, first of all, this is very strange for the Russian Federation to push for this bringing separatist regime members to the Security Council. They [separatist regime representatives] will never be allowed to be at the Council. The second, it’s strange, when Russia, as the facilitator in the conflict, associates itself so much with the separatist regime. It really causes, somehow, the doubts of the impartiality,” Alasania said.
 
He also added that the Abkhaz side has numerous chances to address their security concerns to the Group of Friends in Geneva, which is a UN-led process.
 
 
 


 

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