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UN chief calls for advancing peace process in Georgia

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-08-08 14:50

UNITED NATIONS - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said more work is needed to boost the reconciliation and peace process in Georgia.

"The secretary-general recalls that it is a reminder of the need to resolve this and other protracted conflicts in Europe," said a statement issued by his spokesperson.

"This requires increased commitment by the relevant actors, backed by strong political will and a reinvigoration of mediation processes," it said.

In the early 1990s, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, declared their independence from Georgia, which Russia recognized in 2008 despite Georgia's objection.

Conflict erupted in August 2008, between Russian and Georgian forces over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which led later in the year to the launch of international talks to resolve the crisis, known as the Geneva International Discussions, or GID.

Georgia cut diplomatic ties with Russia following the brief armed conflict over the control of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In 2009, the Incident Response and Prevention Mechanism grew out of the GID, providing a forum for further discussion.

The GID is co-chaired by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union, and the United Nations, bringing together relevant countries and regions, including the United States.

"The secretary-general urges all the participants in the Geneva International Discussions to adopt a constructive, forward-looking approach that would allow this indispensable mechanism to fulfill its mandate," said the statement.

"All concerned should prioritize progress through appropriate dialogue and refrain from divisive policies and unilateral actions that may adversely impact regional peace and security," said the UN chief.

Guterres recalled that while the GID and the mechanism have "substantially contributed to strengthening stability in recent years, more should be done on key security and humanitarian issues, including those related to the plight of the many internally displaced persons and refugees."

He said the UN would continue to fully support this important mechanism and work with the EU and the OSCE to achieve progress on all fronts.

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