United States Mission to the OSCE
As delivered by Political Counselor Gregory Macris
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 5, 2018
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
At the 44th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the Conflict in Georgia, June 19-20, the United States reiterated its support for Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The United States again called on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of Russian forces to pre-war positions.
The U.S. delegation continued to press the de facto authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia for greater cooperation in conducting full and transparent investigations into the deaths of Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria.
The United States recognized differences of opinion regarding a way forward on a non-use of force statement, urging continued good-faith and constructive negotiations in upcoming Geneva rounds. We continue to support efforts to improve regional security and stability.
The United States regrets that participants were not able to discuss internally displaced persons because the representatives of Russia and the de facto authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia walked out of Working Group II. We also regret the lack of progress on other humanitarian issues such as freedom of movement, as well as lack of progress on mother tongue education for children.
The United States reiterates its full support to the three Geneva Co-Chairs and the GID forum.
We call on all members of the OSCE to support the reestablishment of a meaningful OSCE presence in Georgia with unhindered access throughout the country’s territory up to its internationally recognized borders.
The regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia. The United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and calls on all States to be mindful of their obligations under the UN Charter, as well as their OSCE commitments, and do the same.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.