Abkhazia: Tbilisi offers federation, Sokhumi rejects

News and Press Release
Originally published
(Tbilisi. March 10, 2003. Civil Georgia) - "Georgia is ready to discuss creating of federative republic in which Abkhazia will be granted special rights," Georgian President Shevardnadze said at the news briefing today.

President also said that the proposal does not contradict to the document regarding "Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competences between Tbilisi and Sokhumi [capital of breakaway Republic of Abkhazia]," which is prepared by the UN Secretary General's Group of Friends on Georgia (Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and the United States).

The document details remain confidential, but Georgian officials hail its provisions that consider Abkhazia as a part of the Georgian state.

Abkhaz envoy in Russia Igor Akhba said today while commenting Shevardnadze's statement that "Abkhazia is an independent state" and Sokhumi does not intend to discuss proposal with Tbilisi.

"We should start discussion of the economic rehabilitation of Abkhazia, return of IDPs and resumption of the railway link [between Russia and Georgia via Abkhazia]," Russian media sources report quoting Abkhaz envoy.

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