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Abkhaz President Names Long-Time Foreign Minister As PM

Sergei Shamba

Sergei Shamba

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The president of rebel Georgian region Abkhazia appointed his former foreign minister to be prime minister today and asked him to form a government within two weeks, Russian agencies reported.

The appointment came a day after Sergei Bagapsh, was inaugurated for a second term as president after winning a December election, Abkhazia's first since Russia recognized the Black Sea territory as an independent state following a short military conflict with Georgia in August 2008.

Most of the world has not recognized Abkhazia as a state.

The new prime minister, Sergei Shamba, 58, served as Abkhazia's foreign minister for 12 years, not counting a few months' break in 2004.

He replaces Alexander Ankvab, who became Abkhazia's vice president after the election.