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Tbilisi Talks Pave Way For Meeting Of Leaders

5 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Officials from Georgia and its breakaway region of Abkhazia met yesterday for security talks in Tbilisi.

Georgi Khaindrava, Georgia's minister for conflict resolution, said the talks paved the way for a meeting between Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Abkhaz leader Sergei Bagapsh.

However, Khaindrava said the two governments must first reach a preliminary agreement on the number of refugees seeking to return to Abkhazia.

Abkhazia seceded from central Georgian control in the early 1990s, triggering a war that killed thousands and forced nearly all of its ethnic Georgian population to flee.

Also attending yesterday's talks in Tbilisi were representatives from the United States, Russia, and the European Union.