BY FRED ECKHARD, SPOKESMAN FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
The Secretary-General's report on the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, notes that, after one year of strenuous efforts by his Special Representative and the Group of Friends, the parties to the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict have not moved much closer to the start of negotiations. "The Abkhaz side, in particular, refuses to even enter into discussions on the principles on which negotiations should be based," the report says.
In order for the conflict to be resolved rather than contained, the Secretary-General expresses his intention to invite senior representatives of the Group of Friends to an informal brainstorming session on the way forward.
He also recommends a further extension of the mandate of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) for six months, until July 31.
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