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24 Jan, 2007 17:42

Georgia wants to resume peace talks with Abkhazia

Georgia wants to resume peace talks with Abkhazia

The situation between Georgia and its breakaway region of Abkhazia has dominated talks at the UN Security Council. And Georgia's announced it is willing to start peace talks with its breakaway republic in an attempt to find a solution to the long-running

In this respect Kote Gabashvili from the Georgian Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affaires welcomed the decision saying: “It's a good position of the Georgian government to be ready for the dialogue without any preconditions with this part of our country. It's necessary at last to find a solution to this conflict.”

Meanwhile Abkhazia says Georgia is trying to “mislead the international community” while violating October's UN resolution, which ordered Georgia to withdraw troops from the disputed Kodory Gorge and avoid provocations in the conflict zone.

According to Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba, “the Georgian offer to resume talks is aimed at misinforming members of the UN Security Council ahead of the meeting in New York. The Georgian authorities want to show they are following the UN resolution. Georgia is also trying to demonstrate it hasn't broken the Moscow agreements of 1994 which regulate the situation in the conflict zone – although many violations have taken place.”

Tensions between the Georgia and Abkhazia escalated in 1992 when Georgia revoked the Soviet constitution and reinstated the one from 1921 denying Abkhazia its autonomous status. But the republic's council returned to a constitution of a Soviet republic of Abkhazia under which it was a sovereign state. Georgia responded by sending in troops. A year of military conflict followed taking the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people.

Although the war ended in 1993, the conflict continues to this day.

Abkhazia is not ready to renounce its sovereignty claims. Thus Mr Shamba has re-iterated: “Many events which took place in the last few years convince Western experts that Abkhazia is successfully building the basis for a democratic state. And it's making them change their opinion.”

Abkhazia accuses Georgia of undermining its stable development.

“Each time the peace talks were about to finish the political aspect prevailed. The Georgian strategy is aimed at creating conditions for  social destruction in Abkhazia,” claims Sergey Shamba.

Still, “the current situation is quite safe and normal. We arrived to replace the battalion which controlled this frontier post at the end of November. We are on the watch now,” said peacekeeper Takhir Malkanduev.

Meantime, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, has said he welcomes the talks on the Abkhazian conflict at the UN, but will not tolerate human rights violations in the breakaway region.  “Georgia is ready for a constructive dialogue, but it will not put up with violations of the key human right, namely the right to return home and feel safe there,” he said and then continued: “Georgia will not put up ”with violations of the state's territorial integrity“, either. There should not be any illusions.  Georgia has changed. It now has different resources, different motives, a new place on the international arena, and a more prosperous future.”