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Georgia: No Progress Reported On Abkhazian Talks

Moscow, 13 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russian diplomats report no progress today on talks aimed at settling the dispute between Tbilisi and Sukhumi.

The talks began Monday at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow and ended today. Russia is serving as a mediator -- along with the United Nation -- in the negotiating process.

Our Moscow correspondent quotes Russian foreign ministry representatives as saying Georgian and Abkhazian delegations did not reach an agreement on the political status of the separatist region of Abkhazia. No more details on the talks are available.

The next round of talks will be held Monday. The focus of those talks is expected to be the issue of refugees, who fled Abkhazia during the conflict.

Georgia's government forces lost the region of Abkhazia to separatist forces in 1993 after 13 months of fighting. An estimated 500,000 ethnic Georgians fled Abkhazia during the conflict, which ended when Georgian troops withdrew from the region. A predominantly Russian peace-keeping force now monitors a ceasefire.