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Geneva expectations2010-03-18 16:07
Presently the envoys of various international organizations are holding consultations with Georgian and Abkhaz authorities in preparation for the next round of Geneva discussions on security in South Caucasus. Tbilisi hopes to discuss EU-proposed document on new security architecture. The young Transcaucasian republic sets certain hopes for the advance in negotiating process on Anti Turunen, a new UN envoy to the region that recently arrived in the capital of Abkhazia.
It will be remembered that the first attempt to sit down at negotiating table in Geneva was made in October 2008 when Georgia demanded that Abkhazia and South Ossetia be present at an expert level only. Both republics defiantly rejected the status with their delegations leaving the negotiation room. Russian delegation too refused to negotiate without them. Thus, instead of common sessions only two separate consultations with the UN, EU, OSCE and USA were held: one with representatives from Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the other one - with Georgia. At the time of the second round Georgia repeatedly refused to grant equal status to Abkhaz and South Ossetian delegations which led to meetings of working groups instead of plenary sessions.
This discussion format has been preserved up to now. Preliminary consultations between international mediators and Georgian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities are a mandatory condition for a new negotiation round in Geneva.
As GeorgiaTimes already wrote, not long ago the UN appointed a new special representative of the secretary general to Georgia. The post is now occupied by Anti Turunen (Finland) believed a brilliant diplomat in the West. It is considered in New York that his skills and abilities were particularly evident at crisis solution in Georgia when Finland was the OSCE chair and Turunen was in charge of the organization's permanent council.
This week Anti Turunen accompanied by Pierre Morel and Bulat Nurgaliev, EU and OSCE envoys went to Tbilisi. Deputy Georgian FM Gigi Bokeria told diplomats that Georgia would raise the issues of security, observance of human rights and return of refugees in Geneva.