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Potsdam University professor Dieter Boden in Abkhazia on AGU Invitation

SUKHUM -- The deputy Foreign Minister of Abkhazia Daur Kove met with the Potsdam University professor Dieter Boden in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

In 1995-1996 Dieter Boden was the head of the OSCE Special Mission in Georgia, and in December, 1999 was appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on the Georgian-Abkhaz Conflict and worked in this position for two years and a half.

Welcoming the scientist, Daur Kove said that Dieter Boden was a well- known person in Abkhazia. “You known well enough the problems of our region since you were engaged in their resolution, being a UN Special Representative”, Kove said. “Today after a long absence, you are again in Abkhazia, and we are pleased to welcome you back”.

The deputy Foreign Minister said regretfully that Boden’s visit concurred with sad events connected with the death of the prominent statesman, the First President of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba.

The meeting participants paid last respect to the National Hero Vladislav Ardzinba by a minute of silence.

Dieter Boden said at the meeting that this time he had arrived in Abkhazia as a scientist. “Certainly, I remember very well the time when I worked here as a UN Special Representative. I cannot but take a further interest in your destiny and the Caucasian region in general. It’s not only my interest, but many Europeans in general. Today this interest is stronger, than ever”, Boden said.

“We all know that the problems remain. We all want this region to be able to live in solid and complete peace, and consider me your well-wisher as far as this is concerned”, the former head of the UN Mission in Georgia added.

Dieter Boden called "rather interesting" the meeting with the Abkhaz State University students which had also taken place today. Then the meeting was held behind closed doors. It was also attended by the MFA international department chief, a participant of the Geneva discussions on security in Transcaucasia Lana Agrba and the chairman of the Coordination Commission Zurab Lakerbaya.

After the meeting in an interview Dieter Boden expressed regret that he hadn’t been there for 7 years. “At the same time I’m happy to come back here on the invitation of the University rector, and today we had a wonderful meeting with the students who stroke me”, Boden said.

“I’ve worked here, and now arrived as a private person already, as a scientist to listen, to understand the situation and to tell other people about it. I want to make my modest contribution to your going out of the existing problems and the Caucasus becoming a stable region”, the scientist said.

Speaking about the First President of Abkhazia Vladislav Ardzinba, the former UN official said: “We have met several times, and I can tell you that it’s always been a frank and open exchange of opinions. I cannot tell you that we have agreed on every issue, but we respected each other very much. I respected his honesty and openness very much. I know that in his time he made his contribution to find a solution of the problems”.

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