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New Abkhazian president takes office

New Abkhazian president takes office
Abkhazia’s newly elected President Raul Khadzhimba has taken office in an inauguration ceremony in the North Caucasus republic’s capital, Sukhumi, on Thursday.

The ceremony was attended by the heads of the neighboring Russian republics of North Ossetia, Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria, the President of South Ossetia Leonid Tibilov, delegations from Nagorno-Karabakh and Nicaragua, as well as representatives of the Russian government, presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, Rashid Nurgaliev.

Raul Khadzhimba, who heads the Forum of Abkhazia People's Unity party, has taken part in several presidential elections in the Abkhaz Republic, winning the presidential election on August 24 with 50.6 percent of the votes.

Abkhazia’s previous president, Aleksandr Ankvab, resigned on June 1 “for the sake of stability” following days of anti-government protests, staged by the opposition demanding reforms and the government’s resignation.

Abkhazia became de-facto independent from Georgia following the 1992-93 Georgian-Abkhazian war.

After the second Georgian aggression against the self-proclaimed republic was repelled in 2008, Abkhazia was recognized as an independent state by Russia. Sukhumi signed a number of crucial agreements and treaties with Moscow, enabling constant Russian military presence on the territory of the republic as a guarantee against any further aggression from Georgia in the future.