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Sokhumi Firm on Talks Resumption Terms

Sokhumi will not resume talks with Tbilisi unless the latter follows its commitments under the 1994 Moscow ceasefire agreement, the Abkhaz leadership told foreign diplomats accredited to Georgia, Apsnipress news agency reported.

Diplomats from five countries – France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and the U.S, which constitute the UN Secretary General”s Group of Friends of Georgia – visited Sokhumi on June 8. Tbilisi had recently called on the Group to persuade Sokhumi to resume UN-mediated talks, known as the Geneva Process.

Foreign Minister of breakaway Abkhazia Sergey Shamba said resumption of talks would mean that Sokhumi accepted and tolerated violation of agreements by Tbilisi.

“Georgia, which sent its troops to [the Tbilisi-controlled] upper Kodori Gorge [in Abkhazia] last July, has violated the 1994 Moscow agreement… So resumption of talks would mean that we accept violations of the basic agreement by Georgia,” Shamba said.

The Abkhaz side also demanded Tbilisi withdraw its “puppet government” – the Abkhaz government-in-exile – from upper Kodori Gorge, and release Davit Sigua, an official from the Gali District of Abkhazia.

Sokhumi also ruled out a meeting between Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh and President Saakashvili, according to Apsnipress.

“What would be the result of a meeting between Bagapsh and Saakashvili? For Saakashvili it would be a PR stunt. And we do not need this. We will agree on such a meeting, only if an agreement on non-resumption of hostilities is signed there and the economic sanctions are removed,” Shamba told Apsnipress.

During the meeting with foreign diplomats, the Abkhaz leader criticized Tbilisi for opening “a patriotic camp” for teenagers in the village of Ganmukhuri in the Abkhaz conflict zone, saying it was a “provocation.” 
The village is located on the Abkhaz side of the Enguri river and is the last Georgian-controlled village in the conflict zone, less than a half a kilometer away from Abkhaz-controlled territory.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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