NEW FORMAT FOR GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ NEGOTIATIONS.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 146

The first round of Georgian-Abkhaz negotiations under a new format was held in Geneva on July 23-25. The U.S., Germany, Britain, and France, which jointly comprise the Friends of Georgia group of countries, joined Russia and the UN as participants in the negotiations. However, the session ended without progress. The representatives of Tbilisi and Sukhumi only reconfirmed their commitment to abjure force and agreed to meet again in the same format in Geneva at an "early" but unspecified date. The Russian and Abkhaz sides insisted on an open-ended continuation of the Russian "peacekeeping" operation and succeeded through procedural wrangling to derail attention from the central political and security issues at stake. (International agencies, July 25-27)

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