On 26 July 2017, the 48th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations (UN). Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives took part in the meeting.
The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting was assessed as relatively calm and stable. The special emphasis was made on the key mandate of the IPRM, which is prevention of incidents and cooperation in responding to any occurrences. In this connection, the frequent use of hotline was highly commended, and the participants were encouraged to continue using it effectively for incident prevention and for humanitarian purposes, such as emergency medical evacuation cases.
The earlier discussed two cases – the 19 May 2016 killing case of a Georgian civilian man at one of the former crossing points and the continued detention of two individuals for an alleged “illegal crossing” - were followed up with a view to finding solutions. With regard to the second point, an appeal was reiterated to give due attention to the humanitarian side of the case and to release the detainees as soon as possible.
The participants exchanged available information on issues related to the residence permits and crossing documents. Furthermore, an appeal was made to respective authorities to consider the modalities for smooth crossing of schoolchildren during the upcoming school year, which commences in September.
Following the already established practice, which is always welcomed by the Chair, the participants used the margins of the meeting for bilateral discussions on issues of their interest.
The participants agreed to hold the next meeting on 19 September 2017.