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Sokhumi Rejects to Meet ‘Group of Friends’

According to Civil Georgia, Sergey Bagapsh, the Abkhaz leader, said Sokhumi would not take part in a meeting of UN Secretary General’s Group of Friend in Berlin, because of tensions in South Ossetia, Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported on August 3.

Speaking at a session of the breakaway region’s National Security Council on August 3, Bagapsh said: “Tensions are rising in Tskhinvali… Georgia is sending its forces at the South Ossetian border. In these conditions we can not talks neither with Group of Friends, nor with the Georgian side.”

“We will watch to how events develop in South Ossetia and if the situation gets better we may revise our decision,” Bagapsh added.

 

Bagapsh said that the meeting with the Group of Friends dealing with the Abkhaz conflict and involving France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and the U.S. was planned for August 15. Initially the meeting was proposed for July 30-31, but the Abkhaz side has rejected and instead offered the period between August 15 and August 20. MOSCOW also suggested holding the meeting for a later date. Officials in Tbilisi , however, said August and early September was not acceptable for them because of a tight schedule during that period.

 

Apsnipress also reported that Bagapsh had ordered the defense ministry to put “the eastern group of forces” on combat readiness.

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