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Statement by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Abkhazia in connection with the exclusion of Abkhazia from the list of countries invited to Turkey for an international children's festival

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia expresses deep regret at the exclusion of Abkhazia from the list of countries invited this year to the Republic of Turkey for the International Children's Festival on April 23 to commemorate the holding of the first Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1920 in Ankara, which was dedicated to children .

In Abkhazia, the historical and cultural ties with the Republic of Turkey are highly valued, and the intensification of contacts and intercultural communication between our peoples is welcomed with satisfaction. The visit of children from Abkhazia for the festival, established to promote peace in the whole world, was awaited by the large Abkhazian and Caucasian diaspora in Turkey with great enthusiasm. However, because of Georgia's efforts to politicise this cultural event, the Abkhazian children's dance-group was later excluded from the programme of the festival, though earlier its participation was recorded on the festival’s official website. Unfortunately, it has to be noted that even the new leadership of Georgia does not baulk at using any possible means to isolate the people of Abkhazia from cultural communication with the outside world.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia declares that no artificially created obstacles can hinder the process of cross-cultural communication of peoples. We hope that the fact, which has occasioned deep regret, of removing the Abkhazian children's dance-group from the festival’s programme will not affect the traditional ties of friendship that bind the peoples of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of Turkey.

Source: MFA Abkhazia

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