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Georgian Opposition Wants U.S. To Renounce Recognition Of Kosovo

Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili
TBILISI -- The chairman of Georgia's opposition Labor Party is in Washington to discuss Georgian-U.S.-Russian relations and the recognition of Kosovo and Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, RFE/RL's Georgian and Russian services report.

Labor Party Secretary-General Joseph Shatberashvili told RFE/RL that the main goal of Shalva Natelashvili's visit to Washington is "to start a dialogue with Moscow and Washington” on Moscow’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Washington’s recognition of Kosovo.

Shatberashvili says that Labor Party leaders believe that if Washington would revoke its recognition of Kosovo's independence it would cause Russia to reconsider its decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

Shatberashvili did not specify with whom Natelashvili is scheduled to meet in Washington.

Shatberashvili said that after the talks in the United States, Natelashvili -- who is known as one of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's "most consistent critics" -- will travel to Moscow to hold similar talks with Russian officials.

Moscow recognized the Georgian republics as independent countries after a brief war with Georgia in August 2008.

Only Russia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua have recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but 62 countries have recognized Kosovo's independence from Serbia.