The FINANCIAL — The Head of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), Ambassador Marek Szczygieł, met the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, on 20 July 2020. The head of mission congratulated the prime minister on the country’s successful fight against COVID-19. A range of topics was discussed, including the security situation along the Administrative Boundary Lines, recent detention cases and economic challenges of the conflict-affected population.
The sides talked about the role of the mission as the only international mechanism in securing regional security, stability and peace. Focus was made on the role of the meetings of Group on Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM), Geneva Negotiations, closed checkpoints and Georgia’s unwavering will to resolve the territorial conflicts peacefully, Georgian Public Broadcasting reported.
The head of mission congratulated the prime minister on the country’s successful fight against COVID-19 and noted that the work of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in this respect has been noted and recognized also by the EU Member States.
Last week, Members of the European Parliament commended the “internationally praised response of the Georgian people and public authorities to the COVID-19 outbreak”, as well as the effective work of the country’s medical workers and authorities during the pandemic, which has helped ease the burden on Georgia’s’ healthcare system and mitigate the negative effects on the economy.
The prime minister underlined the importance of the Mission in maintaining stability in the region, as the only international monitoring presence on the ground and expressed his appreciation for the EUMM’s unwavering contributions to stability and cross-ABL confidence building. Prime Minister Gakharia expressed his support for the full implementation of the Mission’s mandate throughout the territory of Georgia.
A range of topics was discussed, including the security situation along the Administrative Boundary Lines, recent detention cases and economic challenges of the conflict-affected population. The head of mission used the opportunity to highlight the importance of the Mission-managed hotline and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism as the tools that contribute to stability and confidence building. He also expressed concern over the prolonged suspension of platforms of dialogue, the Geneva International Discussions and the IPRM meetings in Ergneti and Gali, and stressed the need for their resumption.
Today, Co-facilitators of Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism declared the joint statement: “The co-facilitators of the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), the Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia Ambassador Marek Szczygieł and the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus Ambassador Rudolf Michalka underline the importance of dialogue for reducing tensions and preventing incidents along the South Ossetian Administrative Boundary Line.”
During the past weeks, the co-facilitators conducted intensive consultations in order to explore the possibility of restarting meetings in the Ergneti IPRM format. The co-facilitators have therefore initiated preparations for the 96th Ergneti IPRM meeting planned for 30 July 2020.
Few days ago, The Head of the EUMM, Ambassador Marek Szczygieł, was received by the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili. President Zourabichvili expressed her appreciation for the valuable role the Mission plays in monitoring developments and facilitating dialogue. President Zourabichvili highlighted the role of the EUMM as the only international monitoring presence on the ground, which provides a unique opportunity to present objective and factual information.
Earlier this month, The Head of the EU Monitoring Mission also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani. Minister Zalkaliani congratulated Ambassador Szczygieł on his new position and thanked him for the ongoing work of the Mission. The Head of Mission informed the minister about his priorities, particularly about his aim to resume regular IPRM Ergneti meetings. He highlighted the role of the Mission in supporting the Geneva International Discussions (GID) and stated that the Mission remains committed to providing objective information to the GID Co-Chairs.