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Khajimba Sworn In As Abkhaz President

De facto Abkhaz President-elect Raul Khajimba waves an Abkhaz flag as he takes his oath of office during the inauguration ceremony in Sukhumi on September 25.

Raul Khajimba has been sworn in as the president of the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

Khajimba took the oath of office on September 25 in the Great Hall of the Cabinet of Ministers in Sukhumi.

Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surov attended the ceremony, telling journalists after the ceremony: "Abkhazia has carried out a difficult battle for its independence and recognition of its right to exist as a free country. Russia is completely in solidarity with this."

Georgia said the August 25 Abkhaz presidential election that Khajimba won was illegal.

Abkhazia is a Russian-backed separatist region that declared independence from Georgia following the short Georgian-Russian War in August 2008.

Only Russia and handful of countries have recognized the independence of Abkhazia, or another breakaway Georgian region, South Ossetia.

Nicaragua and Venezuela, two of the countries that officially recognize Abkhazia's independence, reportedly sent representatives to the September 25 swearing-in ceremony.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax