occupied territories

U.S. Deeply Concerned by Closure of Crossing Points in Georgia's Abkhazia Region

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Photo: EPA

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Mark C. Toner said that the closure of two crossing points between de facto Abkhazia and Georgia will result in the restriction of freedom of movement and “damage the livelihoods of local residents,” in a March 6th press statement.

The statement reads as follows:

“The United States is deeply concerned by the decision of de facto Abkhaz authorities to close two controlled crossing points along the administrative boundary line of the occupied territory of Abkhazia in Georgia. These closures will further restrict freedom of movement and damage the livelihoods of local residents.

Actions such as these not only impose humanitarian hardships on the local population, they also erode the trust and confidence of the people and undermine the Geneva International Discussions, which are the recognized mechanism for discussing security-related issues and humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population. The United States calls for these crossing points to be re-opened, allowing children to attend school and residents to move freely to engage in commerce, visit relatives, and obtain necessary medical services.

The United States fully supports Georgia’s territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.”

On December 28, 2016, the regime in de facto Abkhazia decided to close two crossing points along the administrative boundary line (ABL) with Georgia, in the villages of Nabakevi and Otobaia. The two crossing points were actually closed on March 5, 2017. Until now, there were four crossing points between Georgian controlled territory and de facto Abkhazia.

On February 26, the Spokesperson for the High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, commented on the current situation in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia. According to the statement from Mogherini's spokesperson, the closures will cause a larger risk of detentions and “will be detrimental to the freedom of movement of the population, including school children, on both sides of the Administrative Boundary Line."

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