Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (149)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

149. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the position regarding the situation in Georgia; the position of Ireland on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49030/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

Ireland, together with the EU, continues to reaffirm its unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, as and when the opportunity presents itself across all local, EU and international fora.

The appointment in 2018 of a EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, as well as the EU Monitoring Mission, in which Ireland has representatives, are visible and substantial signs of the Union's commitment to helping Georgia address its security challenges.

Central to this support is the Eastern Partnership initiative, which provides a framework for cooperation between the EU and six countries in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood, including Georgia. The aims of the Eastern Partnership are to promote peace and stability in the region and to enhance economic and political integration between the participating countries and the EU. 

Ireland welcome’s the policy of the Government of Georgia towards peaceful conflict resolution based on the fundamental principles of international law and support Georgia’s peace initiative ‘A Step to a Better Future’ aimed at improving the humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people residing in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

However, Ireland remains concerned that 10 years after the Russia-Georgia war, the occupation of these regions still continues and that the security, human rights and humanitarian situation on the ground is deteriorating.  Ireland regrets reports of recent escalations along the Administrative Boundary Line between Tbilisi-administered Georgia and South Ossetia, including the temporary detainment of EU Monitoring Mission staff by a South Ossetian patrol. Additionally, continuing reports of ‘border creep’, the installation of barbed wire fences, and arbitrary detainment of Georgian citizens is of deep concern to Ireland.

The Geneva International Discussions aimed at settling the conflicts have made little progress to date however we remain fully supportive of this format and encourage the participants to engage in good faith in order to find  solutions for the safety and humanitarian needs of the population affected by the conflict.

Finally, Ireland shares the concerns of our EU Partners over the new security and humanitarian concerns which have emerged in the regions affected by the conflict. Of particular concern is the decision in Sokhumi of 4 April 2019 that provides for the punishment by death, under certain circumstances, of the so-called export/import and/or transit of drugs and we reiterate our opposition to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances.