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Lavrov Hails 'Dialogue' In Resolving Political Crisis In Abkhazia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged that the political crisis in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia be settled without violence.

Talking to journalists in Moscow on June 2, Lavrov called the crisis "an internal affair of the Abkhaz people."

He said the most important thing for Moscow is that "the differences that have arisen among various political forces in Abkhazia are resolved without violence, but through dialogue and broadly acceptable agreements between the authorities and the opposition."

On June 1, Abkhazia's de facto president, Aleksandr Ankvab, resigned from the post.

The Abkhaz parliament on May 31 declared Ankvab "unable" to perform his duties as president and scheduled an early election for August 24.

It selected the speaker of parliament, Valery Bganba, as interim president.

Ankvab denounced the moves as unconstitutional.

Abkhazia's independence is recognized only by a handful of states, including Russia.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax