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27 Sep, 2006 08:16

The Kodori Gorge doesn’t exist any more

The Kodori Gorge doesn’t exist any more

The upper part of Kodori Gorge, brought back under Georgia's control in July, will be renamed “Upper Abkhazia” in a decision made by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. The upper Kodori Gorge, is the only region of the breakaway republ

Georgian troops ousted a rebel leader in a police action in July, sparking protests from Abkhazia's government.

The upper Kodori Gorge is now the base for the pro-Tbilisi government-in-exile.

Saakashvili also said any foreign delegation that visits the Abkhazian breakaway government in Sukhumi, will have to visit the upper Kodori Gorge, for a meeting with the pro-Georgian administration.

Our correspondent in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, told us more about these developments:

This decision was made on September 27 – Memorial Day for Abkhazians and Georgians. For Georgia it is the day of loosing Sokhumi and Abkhazia and for Abkhazians it is the day of victory, so both remember this day. And now Tbilisi remembers the people who died on this day when Abkhazia was lost. Saakashvili’s decision to make this day a of memory has been widely acclaimed. It is so, because by naming the Kodori Gorge “Upper Abkhazia”, they think it is the first step forward in returning Abkhazia to Georgia. And many officials have already visited the Kodori Gorge today, because new offices for legitimate government will be opened there.

The President of Abkhazia's breakaway government, Sergey Bagapsh has condemned the transfer of the pro-Georgian government-in-exile to the Kodori Gorge:

“It's another provocation that will have serious consequences for negotiations and Georgian-Abkhazian relations. It's for sure. If international observers and envoys want to have contacts with the so-called 'autonomists', then they have no need to hold a dialogue with us. That's our position.”