Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Shalva Papuashvili, on Thursday highlighted the “crucial role of dialogue” in overcoming occupation issues in response to latest claims by Sergey Shamba, the de facto official in the country’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia region, over taking actions for “peaceful coexistence”.
In his press comments, Papuashvili stressed the importance of fostering dialogue without specifying a particular format, citing it as a matter of time.
"Various formats of contact with our Abkhaz fellow citizens exist, including humanitarian contacts. We utilize all possible channels to showcase the advantages of living in a united state. The government handles the formal formats, and its primary focus is always the national interests of Georgia. Our overarching goal is to restore territorial integrity and rebuild trust and relations with our Abkhaz and Ossetian fellow citizens," he said.
Shamba, the de facto former Foreign Minister who now serves as the Secretary of the Security Council in occupied Abkhazia, said the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict “should not be passed onto future generations” He emphasized the necessity of finding opportunities for peaceful coexistence during an online conversation with Vakhtang Kolbaia, the former chairman of the government and member of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia (in exile).The Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting, featuring the representatives of central Georgian Government and de facto authorities from the region to address conflict issues has not been held since 2018, due to controversies related to the killing of a Georgian citizen by Russian-controlled occupation forces.
The same format with another Russian-occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region is operational.
Both the IPRM and the Geneva International Discussion formats were created post the 2008 war, with co-chairs representing the European Union, OSCE, and the United Nations. The format includes representatives from the central Georgian government, the US, Russia, and de facto authorities.
In October, occupied Abkhazia expressed readiness to resume work within the IPRM format, with the Georgian foreign office refraining from commenting on the proposal so far.