Sergei Shamba, former foreign minister of Abkhazia, who now serves as the head of the security council of the occupied region, reiterated calls for dialogue with Tbilisi, highlighting that “in order to resolve conflict with Georgia we need dialogue.”
Shamba said although there are issues – including “sovereignty and independence” of Abkhazia – where compromise is not possible, there are “many other issues” that require solutions.
He named the signing of the Treaty on the Non-Resumption of War, the opening of the transit of goods through Abkhazia, and reopening of the airport in Sokhumi as the possible negotiable issues with Tbilisi.
As a long-serving diplomat and politician “I know that if there is a conflict, we need to talk,” Shamba went on, adding in response to angry Abkhaz opposition that “I can not understand the logic of those who say that there is a conflict and we do not need to talk.”
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“We need to talk on pressing issues. And those who say that there is no need to talk, they forget that in a certain sense there are contacts, cooperation,” Abkhaz security council head stated. In this regard, Shamba highlighted cooperation on Enguri HPP and shadow trade that bypasses Abkhazia’s budget as a result of smuggling on the Enguri River, which divides the region from Georgia proper.