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Georgian President Ready To Meet Abkhaz Counterpart --> Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh (file photo) (epa) 14 December 2005 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today said he is ready to enter head-to-head talks with the leader of Abkhazia in an effort to resolve the status of the breakaway republic.

Speaking at a press briefing, Irakli Alasania, Saakashvili's personal representative in the Georgian-Abkhaz peace talks, stated that Saakashvili “welcomes the resumption of the Georgian-Abkhaz dialogue and, once again, states that he is ready to meet, without any preconditions and at any time, the leader of the Abkhaz side, Sergei Bagapsh."

Alasania said Georgian and Abkhaz negotiators are due to resume UN-brokered talks in January in Geneva.

He said the meeting would focus on the situation of ethnic Georgians who have returned to Abkhazia's southern Gali district since the 1992-1993 war.

Georgian officials claim the returnees’ rights are being violated and want the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) to address that issue.

(Imedi TV/Kavkaz Press/Novosti-Gruziya/RIA-Novosti)

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