Republic of South Ossetia is located оn the southern slopes of the Main Caucasus Range in the area of 3900 square meters. Тhe capital is the city of Tskhinval.
One-tenth of the surface occupied by the Republic of the foothills.
The rest of the territory - the mountainous terrain height from 850 to 3938 meters above sea level.
The highest point - Mount Halatsa (3938 m).

The message of South Ossetia delegation for mass media

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Pertaining to the results of the 35th round of the Geneva International Discussions

Regular round of the Geneva International Discussions was held on March 22-23, 2016. Official mission from South Ossetia, headed by Murat Dzhioev, the Plenipotentiary of the President of the Republic of South Ossetia on post-conflict settlement, missions from Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the USA as well as representatives of the EU, the UN and OSCE took part in negotiations.

The discussions were held in two working groups: on security and humanitarian issues.

In their opening speeches members of South Ossetia delegation noted the trilateral jail release organized by the authorities of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia on March 10, 2016 and expressed gratitude to all actors. The participants of the discussion stressed that the release was a success due to the cooperation between delegations on the Geneva discussions.

Within discussion on the raised problem of South Ossetia missing citizens’ destiny members of South Ossetia delegation received assurances from international agents that a special independent international expert would precede investigating the case.

Main attention in working group on security was paid to the problems of non-use of force by Georgia against South Ossetia and Abkhazia and maintaining security and stability in regions. Expert work on writing of a joint statement on commitment to principle of non-use of force was continued. However, taking into consideration the fact that once again they failed to agree on the whole document, South Ossetia party suggested excepting brief statement of the participants of the discussions on commitment to generally recognized principles of peaceful settlement that would include indisputable provisions. Despite the fact that the suggestion was supported by the majority, Georgia avoided of discussion on the document. Work on the draft statement would be continued during the next round.

South Ossetia participants shut door on the attempts made by Georgia delegation to coordinate discussion of security issues with discussion of South Ossetia-Russia relations, having emphasized reasonably that they (relations) are based and being developed in accordance with international legislation and correspond to issues of security and peace in the region.

Absence of serious incidents about South Ossetia-Georgian border throughout the discussed period was noted by the participants. At the same time the provocative activity of Georgian party at frontier zones and facts of intentional border violations were marked. South Ossetia delegation reminded once again of the suggestion made by the Republic authorities to Georgian side to get to joint process of border delimitation and demarcation.

The participants of the discussions noted the effectiveness and advantages of further work of IPRM established within the Geneva discussions as an important factor maintaining stability and security about Ossetia-Georgian border. Productivity of “the hot line” organized upon IPRM was emphasized as well. Members of South Ossetia delegation drew attention of Georgian representatives and the EU observer’s mission in Georgia to non-acceptability of border regime violation as harvest season for wild plants is coming.

South Ossetian and Abkhazian party expressed serious concern about increasing threat to stability and security in the region in context of ongoing establishment of closer relations between Georgia and NATO, infrastructural objects of the block being created on territory of Georgia and proceeding policy of making aggressive statements regards South Ossetia and Abkhazia led by Georgian officials. Alongside with this it was noted that the fact that training base of IS had been organized on territory of Georgia in Pankisi Gorge, without any doubt, causes concern.

The attendees gave readout of the propagandist steps made by Georgia aimed at imposing its vision upon international structures through presenting reports on alleged ‘violations of human rights” that take place in South Ossetia and Russia and alleged obstacles to international representatives who are prohibited to visit South Ossetia.

Detailed conversation on humanitarian issues among which the issue of the destiny of the missing people took an important place was held. The participants admitted to agree a draft document reflecting general principles of the problem of missing people’s search at the next round of the discussions.

Within the discussion on cultural heritage South Ossetia participants raised once again the problem of returning to the Republic the unique icon (the Okoni triptych) that had been stolen from South Ossetia museum and currently is in Georgia. Once again members of the delegation drew attention to the problem of preservation of those Ossetian historical-cultural monuments that are located on territory of Eastern Ossetia. This territory is currently under Georgian control and the Ossetians who were driven out are not allowed to go there. South Ossetia delegates called once again for admitting experts to Tyrsygom valley for estimating and evaluating conditions of Ossetian historical-cultural monuments located there.

The problem of refugees wasn’t discussed within the round. It is expected that renewal of negotiations on this subject would become possible when Georgia gives up turning artificially the problem into a political issue.

Upon the discussions the round was shortly summed up.

Next meeting in Geneva is scheduled for June 2016.

March 24, 2016 Geneva