Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze yesterday conferred in New York with UN secretary general Kofi Annan and ambassadors of UN Security Council member countries. The talks focused on internationalizing efforts toward conflict settlement in Abkhazia, where Russia is currently the sole diplomatic mediator and source of peacekeeping troops. Any UN decision would require approval by all Security Council members including Russia. Moscow, meanwhile, has agreed to participate in a UN-sponsored international conference in Geneva. (Western agencies, July 21. See Perspective item below)
Aliev Blasts Corruption.