MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
On the Trip Made by Russian State Secretary and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valery Loshchinin to Sukhumi
DAILY NEWS BULLETIN 14.01.2003
Valery Loshchinin, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Georgian-Abkhaz Settlement, State Secretary and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, on January 9-11 made a trip to Sukhumi, where he held a number of working meetings with senior officials from the Abkhaz authorities, the head of the UN Mission and the command of the CIS peacekeeping forces.
During the conversations with the Prime Minister of Abkhazia, Gennady Gagulia, the Special Representative of the President of Russia once again detailed the considerations of the Russian side in favor of holding a new Georgian-Abkhaz meeting on confidence-building measures which could give positive impetus to the solution of a series of practical questions linked to the return of refugees, non-resumption of armed confrontation and the fostering of cooperation between Tbilisi and Sukhumi.
The Abkhaz side reiterated its interest in the Russian proposals and spoke for the continuation of consultations on that score. In its turn, it again drew attention to the unsettled character of the situation in the Kodori George and expressed concern over the plans of the Georgian side to start building a field aerodrome in the upper part of the gorge in violation of the basic Cease-Fire Agreement of 1994.
Loshchinin's conversation with the head of the UN Mission and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Georgia, Heidi Tagliavini, touched mainly on the coordination of actions by the United Nations and the Russian Federation in the interests of a resumption of the political dialogue between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides.
In the course of the meeting with the command of the CIS Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone Loshchinin acquainted himself with the assessments of the situation in the zone of separation of the parties and with the activities of the CIS peacekeeping contingent in maintaining a stable situation in this zone. It was noted that the lack of clarity about an extension of the forces' mandate after January 1, 2003, was bringing serious complicating aspects to the peacekeeping efforts being made both under the auspices of the CIS and by the United Nations.
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