Q: Please provide a readout of Assistant Secretary Gordon’s participation in the talks on security in the Caucasus in Geneva, and his meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Karasin earlier today.
A: We refer you to the statement released by the U.S. Delegation to the Geneva Discussions on June 8, 2010.
Press Statement by the U.S. Delegation to the Geneva Discussions on Georgia
United States Delegation to the Geneva Discussions
June 8, 2010
Representatives of the United States participated in the eleventh round of the Geneva Discussions. We believe that the Geneva Discussions offer an important forum where international discussions on security and stability can lead to positive and practical developments on the ground, including regular meetings of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) and unfettered access for humanitarian assistance to the conflict areas.
Proposals on a possible non-use of force agreement and associated international security arrangements were among the topics discussed at the session. We note that the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement between President Saakashvili of Georgia and President Medvedev of the Russian Federation, mediated by President Sarkozy of France, already establishes the sides’ commitment to the non-use of force. Full implementation of that agreement – which we still await from the Russian Federation – would render an additional agreement unnecessary. The United States believes another non-use of force agreement among the relevant parties, including the Russian Federation, could improve the situation on the ground provided it meets the concerns of all parties, includes meaningful implementation measures, and avoids unnecessary politicization of the status issue.
Participants also discussed proposals to enhance trust and transparency, which we believe would help decrease tension and enhance stability. We welcome the openness various parties expressed to use the IPRMs for this purpose, and we encourage the active development of this channel. We urge the immediate resumption of the IPRM for South Ossetia.
We hope that future rounds of the Geneva Discussions will focus on completing the implementation of the August 12 commitments, including the provision of unfettered access for humanitarian assistance, to which the Russian Federation committed in the August 12 ceasefire agreement.