Statement in response to the address by the Co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions

As delivered by Ambassador Anne-Kirsti Karlsen at the Permanent Council, Vienna, 16 November 2023.

Mr. Chair,

Norway recognizes the importance of the Geneva International Discussions as a valuable platform for addressing the ongoing conflict in Georgia.

We appreciate the efforts of the Co-Chairs in maintaining this critical dialogue. Norway emphasizes the necessity of discussions on the non-use of force and international security arrangements to enhance regional security and foster political dialogue.

We express concern over the lack of progress in these discussions and urge all parties, especially Russia, to commit to a clear non-use of force and establish a verification mechanism.

Norway is deeply concerned about the severe impact of the conflict on regional security and the well-being of affected populations. This includes the presence of Russian occupying forces in Georgia, the incorporation of Georgian regions into Russia's domains, the persistent “borderisation”, and the random arrests of Georgian citizens.

The recent killing of a Georgian citizen near the Kirbali village by Russian border guards highlights the constant insecurity and pressure faced by people living along the Administrative Boundary Line to South Ossetia.

Norway remains steadfast in defending Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are deeply concerned about Russia's plans for a naval base in Abkhazia, and strongly supports the demand for direct and unrestricted access for the international community and human rights organizations to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We urge Russia to comply with the Six-Point Agreement brokered by the EU on 12 August, its subsequent commitments, and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

I thank you.