Georgia/Abkhazia: Joint delegation visits UNHCR headquarters for talks on IDPs

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR's Director for Europe, Ms. Pirkko Kourula, yesterday welcomed a joint Georgian / Abkhazian delegation at our headquarters here for talks on alleviating the plight of some 220,000 internally displaced persons in Georgia, and some 50,000 returnees to the Gali District. This is part of our strategy of promoting confidence-building measures between the parties concerned.

The delegations were in Geneva in connection with a 'Group of Friends' meeting held here under the auspices of DPKO, and were joined for the exchange with UNHCR by colleagues from UNOMIG. George Khaindrava, Georgian Minister on Conflict Resolution Issues and de facto Foreign Minister of Abkhazia, Mr Sergei Shamba led their respective delegations.

UNHCR reiterated its readiness to contribute in whatever way deemed useful by both parties to a peaceful resolution of the situation. We informed the joint delegation on progress achieved over recent months to bring the plight of the IDPs to the renewed attention of the international community; of efforts under way to secure additional funding for the UNHCR strategy in Georgia/Abkhazia; and thanked both delegations for the trust and confidence extended to UNHCR on the ground in the implementing our protection and assistance activities.