Georgia Committed to Peaceful End to Abkhazia Conflict,
Security Council Told
Committed to Peaceful End to Abkhazia Conflict, Security Council Told
News Center) April 29 2004 -- Georgia's new Prime Minister, Zurab Zhvania,
today told the United Nations Security Council that the main goal of the
country's new leadership was to restore the territorial integrity of the State
through peaceful means.
In an open
briefing to the Council, the Prime Minister said he hoped the international
community, particularly the Council, would respond to the new realities in his
country and make energetic new efforts to reach a comprehensive and peaceful
resolution to the conflict in Abkhazia.
said while relations between his government and the Russian Federation have
improved, the authorities in Abkhazia would not take part in discussions to
settle questions of its political status and the resettlement of internally
displaced persons (IDPs).
northwestern Georgia, erupted into separatist violence in 1992.
had elapsed since the Friends of the Secretary-General for Georgia had agreed on
and supported a document that was to have facilitated basic negotiations, Mr.
indicated the division of powers between Tbilisi and Sokhumi, while giving
Abkhazia wide-ranging autonomy within Georgia. The Friends are the United
States, France, Britain, Germany and Russia, and they are charged with advancing
a peace process that has been stalemated for nearly 10 years.
said the Russian Federation, as the special facilitator, had been trying to
deliver the document to the Abkhaz side, but without much success. He hoped that
with the increased involvement of his Russian colleagues now it would be
possible to begin meaningful deliberations.
Abkhazia refused to attend a scheduled meeting and two days ago, at a meeting in
Moscow, despite the efforts of the Secretary-General's Special Representative
and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the
participation of the Russian side, Abkhazia was "unconstructive."
The result was that a letter of intent on the mechanisms of resettling the IDPs
could not be adopted.
The Council is considering Secretary-General Kofi Annan's
recent report on the situation.
said he was encouraged by the public commitment of the new Georgian leadership
to find a comprehensive settlement by peaceful means and by early practical
actions taken within the zone of conflict. He called on the Abkhaz side to use
the changing political climate in Tbilisi to start negotiations on the
substantive issues of the conflict.