From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng (Original Message) Sent: 4/8/2006 5:23 AM
Photo by Shakhov Andrey, www.photosight.ru Photo by Shakhov Andrey, www.photosight.ru Georgia’s Saakashvili Ready for Dialogue With Breakaway Abkhazia
Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili has said he is ready to start diplomatic settlement of long-term conflict with the breakaway republic of Abkhazia that has been long striving for independence, Gazeta.ru reported.
“We want to settle the conflict in peaceful way,” Saakashvili said. However, he stressed that Tbilisi will not beg Abkhazia’s pardon, although it is set to return property to the refugees, provide normal living conditions for people in conflict zone and defend their human rights.
According to recent rumors, Tbilisi was going to send troops to the province to fight its independence ambitions that makes the President’s new statement surprising.
Abkhazia is formally an autonomous republic within Georgia, independent de facto, although not recognized as such internationally.
Abkhazian leaders have made alternating demands in recent years. At times, they have insisted on full independence, and at other times, they have requested associate membership in the Russian Federation. However, the Russian government has been slow to respond to the latter proposal, fearing the negative effect of such an action on its relations with Georgia.
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