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Abkhazia Resolution Group Holds First Meeting Since 2001

Georgia's Minister for Conflict Resolution, Giorgi Khaindrava, talks to reporters after a meeting of the Georgian-Abkhazian Coordinating Council in Tbilisi today (InterPressNews) May 15, 2006 -- A UN-chaired group on resolving the dispute over Georgia's separatist republic of Abkhazia held its first meeting in five years today.

Abkhazia has been de facto independent since it drove out Georgian troops in 1993.

Attempts to resolve the dispute have made little progress, and the Coordinating Council, which involves Georgian and Abkhaz representatives, had not met since 2001.

The foreign minister of Abkhazia's internationally unrecognized government, Sergei Shamba, brought to today's meeting in Tbilisi a plan for resolving the dispute. He told reporters he is "satisfied" with today's meeting.

Georgia's Minister for Conflict Resolution, Giorgi Khaindrava, is quoted as saying that although the plan contains "interesting points," it "more resembles a declaration of independence than a plan for peace." But he said the two sides will work together to find compromises.

Full details of the plan have not been released.


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