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Abkhaz Top Diplomat Visits Moscow

Kremlin-backed Abkhaz ‘foreign minister’ Inal Ardzinba is visiting Moscow, where he met today with Alexei Borisov, the Deputy Chair of UN Association of Russia, a Moscow-based nonprofit.

The Abkhaz ‘foreign ministry’ stated that Ardzinba relayed to Borisov an appeal addressed to the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutiérrez calling for occupied Abkhazia to receive the status of an observer in the organization.

This would allow Abkhazia to participate in the UN General Assembly discussions, the statement highlighted. Currently, only the Holy See and Palestine hold the status of non-member observer state in the UN.

According to the same report, the sides also agreed to hold a forum on the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Abkhazia in the coming spring.

Ardzinba left for Moscow on February 8 and is also set to meet Russian Government officials.

Russia, Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru are the only states that recognize the independence of occupied Abkhazia as well as Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. Tbilisi and most of the international community regard the two regions as part of Georgia.

Tbilisi slams “propagandistic move”

Georgian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mari Narchemashvili dubbed Ardzinba’s call for Abkhazia to become a UN observer “another propagandistic move.”

She told Civil.ge that the Kremlin-backed authorities have in the past also taken similar steps in an attempt to portray the region as an “independent entity,” efforts that “usually end with failure.”

NB: This article was updated at 13:40, February 10 with remarks by the Georgian Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

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