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21 Aug 2003 description

(Tbilisi, August 21, 2003, Civil Georgia) - Up to dozen of internally displaced persons from Abkhazia released late on August 20 chief of the state-owned Metromsheni company, who was held in hostage for whole day, after the authorities promised to provide the IDPs with apartment buildings.

In the morning on August 20 IDPs, basically women, seized in Tbilisi the city's metropolitan construction company's office and captured the chief of the company.

They demanded the building for habitation. The women poured gasoline and threatened to set themselves afire.

20 Aug 2003 description

(Tbilisi, August 20, 2003, Civil Georgia) - Dozens of Georgian IDPs from breakaway Abkhazia, basically the women, seized today the administrative building of the state-owned company Metromsheni in the Gldani district of Tbilisi and captured the chief of the company.

14 Aug 2003 description

(Tbilisi, August 14, 2003, Civil Georgia) - President Shevardnadze held talks with the UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Georgia Heidi Tagliavini on August 13.

The President's press office reported that the process of implementation of the Sochi agreement between Russian and Georgian Presidents was discussed during the meeting.

09 Aug 2003 description

(Tbilisi, August 9, 2003, Civil Georgia) - The Foreign Ministry of Georgia protests against the unilateral decision of the Russian side to assess the Abkhaz section of the Russian-Georgian railway link, claiming this contradicts the March 7 Sochi agreement between the Presidents of Russia and Georgia.

Georgian and Russian Presidents agreed on March 7 in Sochi to set up joint working groups on restoration of the railway link, return of IDPs in Abkhazia and rehabilitation of the power facilities in the breakaway region.

21 Jul 2003 description

(Tbilisi, July 21, 2003, Civil Georgia) - The UN Secretary General's Group of Friends on Georgia (Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and the United States) meets in Geneva on July 21-22 to discuss situation in Abkhazian conflict zone.

The Georgian and Abkhaz sides are also invited to participate in the meeting.

At the high-level meeting in Geneva the sides will brief each other regarding the current situation in the conflict zone and discuss issues of the safe return of IDPs, economy rehabilitation and political settlement of the conflict.

15 Jul 2003 description

(Tbilisi, July 15, 2003, Civil Georgia) - Georgian Special Affairs Minister Malkhaz Kakabadze arrives today in breakaway Abkhaz capital Sukhumi to hold the UN facilitated talks with the de facto Foreign Minister of Abkhazia Sergei Shamba.

Security issues will be in top of the agenda during the negotiations.

Preparations for the upcoming high-level meeting of the UN Secretary-General's Group of Friends (Russia, Great Britain, Germany, France, USA) in Geneva, scheduled for July 21-22 will also be discussed during the consultations.

13 Jul 2003 description

(Tbilisi, July 13, 2003, Civil Georgia) - After the meeting with the hunger strikers on July 12 demanding withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping troops from the Abkhazian conflict zone, Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze held a phone conversation with President Eduard Shevardnadze, which convened a Parliamentary special session for July 16 to discuss the Abkhaz issue.

Several members of the Veteran Warriors' Union of Abkhazia started hunger strike 12 days ago.

11 Jul 2003 description

(Tbilisi, July 11, 2003, Civil Georgia) - The National Security Council of Georgia took into consideration demand of the Tbilisi-based Abkhaz government (in exile) and supported on July 11 implementation of the Chapter VII of the UN Charter, for peace enforcement in Abkhazia.

The document will be elaborated by the Georgian Foreign Ministry and then discussed at the National Security Council. After the approval of the document it will be sent to the UN and other international organizations.

03 Jul 2003 description

Q&A with Heidi Tagliavini, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General

On June 23 Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Georgia met with Civil Georgia to response to the key questions regarding the peace process to settle Abkhaz conflict. The interview took place in the wake of Moscow talks between the Russian and Georgian sides on June 16-17. The main questions thus were related to the possible compromise in Abkhazia conflict resolution as well as the mechanisms of safe return of the displaced persons to Gali district.

01 Jul 2003 description

(Tbilisi, July 1, 2003, Civil Georgia) - President Eduard Shevardnadze said at the news briefing on June 30 that he supports continued deployment of the Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia. He also said the troops would be withdrawn immediately should one of the sides (Georgian or the Abkhaz) demand it.

Georgian Foreign Ministry has already sent to Moscow a draft agreement concerning the issue.

01 Jul 2003 description

Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili met today with the MPs representing in the Georgian Parliament Abkhaz government-in-exile.

01 Jul 2003 description

(Tbilisi, July 1, 2003, Civil Georgia) - Up to hundred displaced persons from Abkhazia gathered today in front of the State Chancellery today protesting against President Shevardnadze's decision to prolong the Russian peacekeepers mandate in Abkhazia for indefinite period of time.

28 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 28, 2003, Civil Georgia) - According to the preliminary results of the census of Chechen refugees, over 3,600 Chechens live in Pankisi gorge at the moment, Governor of the Akhmeta District Nukri Alavidze told Civil Georgia.

He said final results of the census would officially be published on July 1.

Registration of Chechen refugees in the Pankisi gorge was launched on June 9 by the Georgian Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation, with the support of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

According to the census held in April 2002 there were up to 4,200 …

20 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 20, 2003, Civil Georgia) - The Parliamentary session today planned to discuss issue of Abkhaz conflict settlement however MPs expressed protest regarding the absence of high-ranking officials from the executive government at the discussion.

14 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 14 2003, Civil Georgia) - Georgian Special Affairs Minister Malkhaz Kakabadze and Deputy Foreign Minister Merab Antadze left for Moscow today to discuss with the Russian authorities implementation of the Sochi agreement.

The March 7 agreement between Eduard Shevardnadze and Vladimir Putin was signed implies safe return of IDPs to Abkhazia, restoration of the Russian-Georgian railway link via Abkhazia and rehabilitation of power facilities in the breakaway region.

According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry it is unknown so far, whether the representatives of …

12 Jun 2003 description

Despite Russian authorities' vows to provide security guarantees to Chechen returnees, refugees living in Georgia's Pankisi gorge prefer to stay in the gorge, fearing that recent statements of the Russian officials on improved security situation are mere propaganda.

11 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 11 2003, Civil Georgia) - The four UN employees, who were abducted on June 5 by unidentified armed group from Kodori gorge, were brought to Tbilisi in helicopter today.

At a special press conference in the Foreign Ministry of Georgia Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Georgia Heidi Tagliavini thanked President Shevardnadze, who, according to her, personally supervised the search operation from the very beginning.

Tagliavini said, the President informed her that the hostages were released without using force, that was the most important.

The …

10 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 10 2003, Civil Georgia) - The part of Chechen refugees living in Georgia's Pankisi gorge are strongly against repatriation in Chechnya, while another part demands security guarantees in case of return.

Chechen refugees expressed concerns regarding the possible repatriation during the meeting with the delegation of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations today in Pankisi gorge.

"Russia is ready to provide living conditions for you in Chechnya.

10 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 10 2003, 15:17, Civil Georgia) - Reports say gunmen released today three UN observers and their interpreter who had been kidnapped in Kodori gorge, breakaway Abkhazia. Authorities say no ransom has been paid.

The kidnappers released the personal of the UN Observers Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) after the talks with the Georgian authorities, which agreed to provide security guarantees to the kidnappers, thus none of the eight hostage-takers are captured.

09 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 9 2003, Civil Georgia) - Russian delegation, led by the Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations Yuri Brazhnikov arrived today in Tbilisi to discuss with the Georgian authorities issue of repatriation Chechen refugees living in Georgia's Pankisi gorge.