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On June 21, 2012 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia, Viacheslav Chirikba received a delegation of the U.S. Embassy in Georgia

SUKHUM -- On June 21, 2012 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia, Viacheslav Chirikba received a delegation of the U.S. Embassy in Georgia composed of Political officers Richard Lyons and Jaroslava Petrova, and USAID representative Zhesus Gutierrez.

Head of the delegation, Richard Lyons, thanked the Minister for the opportunity to visit Abkhazia, and said that the main purpose of their visit is to consider the opportunity to create, in cooperation with UNDP, two resource centers (American Corner) in Sukhum and Gal. Representatives of the U.S. Embassy preliminary met with the director of the Sukhum Republican Library Boris Tcholaria, owing to what they got an opportunity to consider the potential premises for such a training center. Political officer of the Embassy Jaroslava Petrova told the Minister about the main directions of the "American Corner", in particular the fact that this center will provide educational materials to the population of Abkhazia in English language, which will include U.S. history, encyclopedias, manuals on the use of computer equipment, textbooks for learning English, etc. "Our position is to help local people to gain access to the American studying programs," - said Richard Lyons.

According to Viacheslav Chirikba, in this issue it is necessary to consider its sensitive parts. "Certainly, Abkhazia is interested in educational projects, and it is important that our young people could have an opportunity to study abroad, however, it is necessary to understand that there are political problems," - said the Minister. According to the head of the Foreign Ministry of Abkhazia, recognition of the so-called Georgian "neutral passports" by such countries like the USA, Japan or the Czech Republic, was negatively perceived in Abkhazia. Moreover, the reaction in Abkhazian society to the actions of the U.S. government, aimed at supporting revanchist aspirations of Georgia regarding Abkhazia, is also negative. With this in mind, says Chirikba, the decision on the establishment of "American corners" should be adopted taking into account political realities in the country, and after discussion with the leadership of Abkhazia.

In the second half of the meeting the sides discussed issues related to the technical side of the programs projects, in Abkhazia, funded by the United States. The sides also touched upon the agenda of the forthcoming Geneva talks, the next round of which will be held in October 2012.

Source: MFA Abkhazia

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