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Information on the 1171st meeting of the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe

At its 1171st meeting held on the 29th of May 2013, the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe discussed the seventh Consolidated Report on the Conflict in Georgia, presented by the Secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland. It is important that the Council of Europe continues to monitor the Russian Federation's implementation of the obligations and commitments it undertook following the war of August 2008, and that the conflict itself remains high on the political agenda of the Council of Europe. The Secretary-general's report places particular emphasis upon the grave human rights situation in Georgia's occupied territories.

In his address to the meeting, the Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Davit Zalkaliani, focused upon the situation in Georgia's occupied territories - notably the installation of wire fences by the Russian occupation forces across the Tskhinvali region's occupation line. Mr Zalkaliani called upon the Council of Europe and the international community to take action in order to make Russia stop these illegal activities immediately.

The Secretary-general's consolidated report was praised by Georgia as well as by the other member-states of the Council of Europe. The European Union Delegation to the Council of Europe, in particular, issued a statement on the Secretary-general's consolidated report on behalf of the 27 EU member-states, in which all the EU members reiterated their unwavering support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders. The EU once again urged Russia to fully meet its international obligations, including the Six-Point Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008, and to provide the EU Monitoring Mission with access to the breakaway regions. The EU also underlined the importance of the Geneva Discussions as well as the need for the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism to be resumed and for Russia to commit to the non-use of force. The EU then expressed its concern regarding the human rights situation in the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, and also noted with concern the ongoing activities of "borderization" along the administrative boundary-lines. The EU finally underlined the importance of the right of refugees and internally displaced persons to a safe, dignified and voluntary return. Moldova, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Iceland, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway and San Marino aligned themselves with this statement.

The Georgia-Ukraine-Armenia-Moldova Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) published a statement on the Council of Europe Secretary-general's seventh consolidated report which was circulated at the meeting, in which the GUAM member-states reaffirmed their support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, underlined the importance of the need to pursue the Geneva International Discussions, and stressed the importance of keeping the issue high on the political agenda of the Council of Europe.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry welcomes the Council of Europe Secretary-general's seventh Consolidated Report, and commends the EU and GUAM statements issued on this occasion. The Ministry believes that this meeting is yet another important step of the international community towards ensuring the Russian Federation complies with the provisions of the 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement.

On the same day, the Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Davit Zalkaliani, held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland. The two discussed the ongoing co-operation between the Council of Europe and Georgia and the situation in Georgia's occupied regions. Among other issues, the Secretary-general reiterated his unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and emphasized the effectiveness of constructive co-operation with the new Georgian government. He also pledged to continue the practice of publishing consolidated reports and to keep the issue of Georgia on the political agenda of the Council of Europe.

29 May 2013

Press and Information Department

Attached documents:

Address of the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia CMD 1171

EU - Statement on the Secretary General's seventh consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia

EUMM - Recent installation of fences near Ditsi is unacceptable

Statement of the Delegations of the GUAM member states on the SG's seventh consolidated report on the Conflict in Georgia