President Giorgi Margvelashvili has asked the Parliament to “promptly discuss” and “elaborate position” on Russia-proposed treaty with Abkhazia, which, he said, if signed will “deteriorate military-political situation” and will pose security threat to the entire region.
“This treaty is yet another step against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” President Margvelashvili said in a televised statement on Wednesday afternoon. “It comes in conflict with the spirit of the Geneva [international] discussions. This treaty poses direct threat to our country’s defense. Human rights and humanitarian situation will be deteriorated if this treaty goes into effect.”
He also said that such an agreement would pose threat to “self-identity” of the Abkhaz people as well.
“I call on the Parliament to promptly discuss the existing situation and elaborate position. Based on this position we will convene the National Security Council to plan further steps for stabilization of situation,” Margvelashvili said, adding that this request has already been formally sent to the Parliament.
“I appeal international community, our friendly countries to promptly, adequately assess the situation and to react appropriately to this yet another step against our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the President said.
Leader of the Georgian Dream majority group in the Parliament, MP Davit Saganelidze, said that the Parliament should discuss the issue.
UNM parliamentary minority group said it would present its draft of resolution to the Parliament on October 16.
UNM MP Zurab Japaridze said that the parliamentary minority group also calls on the authorities to suspend bilateral talks, led by Georgian PM’s special envoy for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin.
UNM’s foreign secretary, Giga Bokeria, said that these talks, known informally as Abashidze-Karasin format, “creates false perception of normalcy” in relations between the two countries and it should be scrapped.
A senior Georgian Dream lawmaker, Tedo Japaridze, who chairs parliamentary committee for foreign affairs, has also called on the Georgian negotiator to pull out from the upcoming round of talks.
Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, said: “On the contrary, it is better to hold the meeting in this very situation… and to discuss this issue.”
Abashidze and Karasin will meet for the next round of talks in Prague on October 16. Abashidze said on Wednesday in Prague that he would raise the issues related to Moscow-proposed draft treaty with Abkhazia at the meeting.
Commenting on the Russia-proposed draft treaty with Abkhazia, Georgian Foreign Minister Panjikidze said on October 15 that it would be “a real annexation” of Abkhazia by Russia if this agreement is signed.
“As you are aware Abkhazians themselves have a quite negative reaction to this so called agreement” for reasons different from those of Tbilisi, she said. “Even Abkhazians understand that this is an attempt to oppress their rights and self-identity.”
She also expressed hope that this treaty, which was made public by the Abkhaz side, will not be signed. Echoing an earlier written statement by the Georgian Foreign Ministry, Panjikidze also said that if signed the agreement will “seriously damage” Geneva talks, as well as direct talks between Tbilisi and Moscow in frames of Abashidze-Karasin format.
“And of course it will be a serious detrimental action for the security and stability in the region,” the Georgian Foreign Minister said.