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Georgia And Abkhazia Agree To Resume Bilateral Talks

(RFE/RL) March 29, 2006 -- Georgia and its separatist republic of Abkhazia have agreed to resume bilateral consultations within the framework of the UN-sponsored Geneva process.

Abkhazia's official Apsnypress news agency says Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's personal representative, Irakli Alasania, signed an agreement to that effect in Sukhumi today.

Both sides decided to revive the Georgian-Abkhaz Coordinating Council, which deals with security, economic, and refugee issues.

The council was set up in 1997 and suspended it activities four years ago.

Alasania today said he would also discuss the prospect of a meeting between the presidents of Abkhazia and Georgia.

Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh has said that he wants Georgia to sign a non-aggression pact as a prerequisite to a meeting with Saakashvili.

Abkhazia forcibly won de facto independence in the early 1990s.

(Apsnypress, Novosti-Gruziya)

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