Georgia

Abkhazia: No clarity regarding CIS peacekeepers mandate after Moscow talks

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(Tbilisi February 10, 2003. Civil Georgia) - After the talks in Moscow between Georgian and Russian delegations the sides could not come up with the decision on Russian peacekeepers mandate, deployed in Abkhazian conflict zone under the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

"After the first stage of talks in Moscow the sides require more time to discuss some details of the problem," Georgian President Shevardnadze said in his Monday radiobroadcast.

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Merab Antadze and Special Affairs Minister Malkhaz Kakabadze held talks with the Russian authorities in Moscow last week.

The Georgian side poses three demands to extend the Russian peacekeepers' mandate, which expired in December: closing down the railway link, which was unilaterally reopened by Russia with Abkhazia, suspension of granting Russian citizenship to Abkhazia's residents and extension of the peacekeeper mandate over the Gali district, so that IDP would be able to return at least to Gali.

Eduard Shevardnadze said today that in case of creating favorable conditions for the IDPs return, Georgia will reopen railway connection with breakaway Abkhazia.

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