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6 Jun, 2008 11:20

Georgia-Abkhazia row can't be solved without Russia: EU Foreign chief

Russia has to play a role in resolving the row between Georgia and its breakaway region of Abkhazia, according to the EU’s Foreign Policy Chief. Javier Solana made the comments during a tour of the region, where he met Georgia’s President, Mikhail Saaka

Georgian authorities have hailed the visit as significant, given the renewal of tensions in the region, while Solana described it as constructive.

Solana had a meeting with President  Saakashvili in Bobokvati, 20 kilometres away from Batumi, on Thursday. They discussed ways of achieving the settlement of the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict and the situation with Georgia-Russia relations.

Javier Solana said he believes a Georgian-Abkhaz settlement is impossible without Russia's participation, but he added that he hoped international organisations will be called into the process.

On Friday, Solana held talks with Abkhazia's President Sergey Bagapsh who says the visit will not change the unrecognised republic's stance.

Abkhazia has been de facto independent since 1992 when it unilaterally declared sovereignty from Georgia, triggering a bloody conflict in the region.

The republic's independence has not been recognised internationally.