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Don’t even dream about Abkhazia

Inal Kashig - Ekho Kavkaza

Republic of Abkhazia President Aleksander Ankvab commented today for the first time on the victory of the Georgian Dream coalition in the Georgian parliamentary elections. The Abkhaz Foreign Ministry too released a similar commentary today.

Official Sukhum finally reacted today to the advent to power in Georgia of the united coalition "Georgian Dream." This morning an interview was released with Deputy Foreign Minister Irakli Khintba, who said that regardless of the fact that Ivanishvili’s coming to power means there will be some changes in Georgia’s Abkhaz policy, the Abkhaz government has not yet received any concrete signals or proposals.

On the other hand, Irakli Khintba notes that by recognizing Abkhazia and thereby resolving the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, and by doing the same in South Ossetia, Georgia will free itself from a serious political threat which naturally prevents it achieving its main goal - European integration and entry into NATO. Irakli Khintba says the thing that would interest the Abkhaz is the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But that of course is a very big wish.

Later [today] the state news agency "Apsnypress" issued a statement by President Aleksander Ankvab, in which he said very briefly that he will talk to those who came and will come only as equals. If the "Georgian Dream" is to bring Abkhazia back, that dream is an illusion. But if the dream is to sign a peace treaty, that issue can be discussed. Both President Ankvab and previously Deputy Minister Irakli Khintba declared their willingness to discuss the issue. Resolving the main question on the agenda for the Abkhaz today -- the signing of a non-aggression pact -- is in principle quite realistic.

The Saakashvili government tried for a long time to torpedo resolving that problem on the grounds that Abkhazia is not a party to the negotiations, that Abkhazia is occupied, and it would therefore negotiate only with Russia. Naturally, that approach was unacceptable to both the Abkhaz and the Ossetians. But within "Georgian Dream," those who have been involved with the Abkhaz issue for many years - Irakli Alasania, Paata Zakareishvili and many others – are inclined to believe that the signing of a non-aggression pact is essential. But naturally, the question and the parameters of this agreement should be discussed directly with the Abkhazians and Ossetians. Today I think that talking about some other projects is very difficult, but this is of primary interest to the Abkhaz. And I think  Georgia will take note of that interest in Abkhazia and will not waste any time, but start discussing this issue with official Sukhum in the very near future.

This article was published by Ekho Kavkaza and is translated from Russian.

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