Tbilisi, 14 December 2022 — The Deputy Secretary General for Peace, Security and Defence of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Mr. Charles Fries, visited today parts of the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) with South Ossetia, in the Zemo Nikozi and Dvani areas, with the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM).
EUMM Acting Head of Mission, Dr. Tibor Kozma, welcomed the Deputy Secretary General and joined his delegation throughout the visit, offering his insights on the most recent developments on the ground.
At the ABL, EUMM briefed the Deputy Secretary General Fries on the security situation in the area, with a focus on ‘borderisation’ and its negative impact on freedom of movement and other human rights of conflict-affected communities. Acting Head of Mission, Dr. Kozma, explained the objectives and positive results of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), the confidence-building platform co-facilitated by the EUMM.
The discussions further moved on to concrete challenges that communities living along the ABL continue to face in their daily life, and which have been further amplified by the closing of crossing points along the ABL. In this regard, Acting Head of Mission, Dr. Kozma, explained that two crossing points along the ABL with South Ossetia, Odzisi and Karzmani, are now temporarily open between the 20th and 30th of each month. This came after the EUMM’s and OSCE’s repeated calls for the full resumption of freedom of movement across the ABL.
At the end of the visit, the Deputy Secretary General Fries expressed his gratitude for the insightful visit and EUMM’s contribution to stability in Georgia and the wider region.