OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Linde concludes visit to Georgia, reaffirming OSCE’s strong support
TBILISI, 17 February 2021 — OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde concluded on 16 February an official visit to Georgia.
“I want to reaffirm the OSCE’s strong support for Georgia’s continued commitment to conflict resolution efforts. Contributing to the resolution of conflicts in the OSCE region is a top priority for me as Chairperson-in-Office,” Linde said.
Such challenges to the European security order need to be addressed by adhering to international law and our agreed OSCE principles and commitments, but also by fully utilizing opportunities for dialogue and engagement.
“The OSCE has played an important role in Georgia for a long time and remains actively engaged in bringing the conflict closer to resolution through the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, as well through projects in all three dimensions of security,” said Linde. She emphasized the importance of the OSCE continuing to provide meaningful support to meet the needs of conflict-affected populations, provide tools for reconciliation and dialogue, as well as to contribute to the consolidation of Georgia’s democratic institutions.
The aim of the Chairperson-in-Office’s visit was to present the priorities of the Swedish OSCE Chairpersonship in 2021 and to reaffirm the OSCE’s strong support to Georgia in our joint work of advancing, promoting, and defending OSCE commitments.
During her visit, Linde met with Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, Vice Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs David Zalkaliani, and State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Tea Akhvlediani.
The focus of the talks were on concrete aspects of co-operation, in particular following recent developments in the region, and potential areas in which engagement can be strengthened. Chairperson-in-Office Linde also had meetings with the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, members of parliament and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, as well as civil society.
“Comprehensive security can only be achieved with the full participation of both women and men. Gender equality is a topic that we have discussed here and I look forward to working together with the government of Georgia to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda,” Linde said.
Linde, who was accompanied by her Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Annika Söder, encouraged further active engagement in the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, and discussed pertinent issues such as detention cases and missing persons.
“I have visited the administrative boundary line to learn more about the situation on the ground and the current challenges faced by local populations, not least when it comes to freedom of movement of the population on both sides,” she said, stressing the importance of existing platforms to engage in dialogue and achieve improvements for the people most affected by conflict.
For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: https://www.osce.org/chairmanship/478738