Encouraging dialogue in Georgia

 

The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) continued to monitor the 1994 Moscow Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces and to facilitate dialogue and confidence- building between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides aimed at meaningful negotiations on a comprehensive political settlement in line with Security Council resolutions.

 

Expectations of a new momentum rose after the February UN-chaired highlevel meeting of the Group of Friends involving all parties to the conflict.UNOMIG facilitated the resumption of the Coordinating Council of both sides – which had been suspended since 2001 – and the establishment of new mechanisms for promoting stability and dialogue on the ground.

 

UNOMIG’s efforts to promote dialogue were affected by differences between the sides over political status and existing formats. Amidst continuous lack of progress on key issues, the Georgian side urged further international support for its territorial integrity and the restructuring of the peacekeeping and negotiation formats on the basis of direct dialogue and greater international involvement. The Abkhaz side enhanced its campaign for recognition and insisted on the continued presence of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force. Tensions surged in July around the Georgian special operation in the Georgian-controlled upper Kodori valley with the stated aim to restore law and order. The Abkhaz side saw it as a security threat and a gross violation of the Moscow Agreement, and refused dialogue prior to a resolution of the situation there.

 

UNOMIG took active steps to prevent further escalation through mediation, including support for a direct highlevel meeting between the parties. It enhanced patrolling and established posts to monitor movements towards the Kodori valley by both sides. The mission also conducted two joint patrols with the CIS peacekeeping force in the valley, which had been suspended since 2003. UNOMIG enhanced efforts to promote transparency, including in relation to movements in the security zone.

 

The mission impressed on the Abkhaz and Georgian authorities the need to restore communications and dialogue, including on economic rehabilitation in the zone of conflict. It called upon them to focus on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1716 (2006) and to resolve issues that have been an obstacle to progress in the peace process.

 

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Prepared by the Peace and Security Section, United Nations Department of Public Information.

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