Moscow-backed Abkhaz authorities opened an embassy in Syria on October 6. The opening ceremony has been attended by the Abkhaz delegation paying a working visit to Damascus, including head of ‘presidential administration’ Alkhas Kvitsinia, ‘foreign minister’ Daur Kove and ‘deputy defense minister’ Nodar Pilia, among others.
Sokhumi and Damascus also agreed to introduce visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders.
A day before the embassy opening, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria hosted Kvitsinia. The Head of Abkhaz presidential administration’ noted that the Abkhaz people support the Syrian nation in its “fight against international terrorism, as well as in the protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity.” On his part, Bashar al-Assad expressed his desire to also meet the Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania in person to discuss the prospects of bilateral cooperation.
Georgian Foreign Ministry decried the opening of the embassy in Damascus calling it ‘a severe violation of the fundamental norms and principles of international law’.
The Bashar al-Assad’s regime recognized the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia on May 28, 2018. In response, Georgia severed diplomatic relations with Syria and slammed the decision as “manipulated” by the Russian Federation.
Russia, Venezuela, Nauru and Nicaragua are the only other nations that recognize the two regions’ independence from Georgia.