Jun 14, 2011

Abkhazia: Yes, No, Yes. Vanuatu Clarifies Position on Recognition

A contradiction by Vanuatu’s ambassador to the United Nations brought confusion as to whether or not recognition has been extended to Abkhazia.  Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister explains the recognition came in the spirit of ‘eradicating colonialism’.

Below is an article published by the New York Times:

The south Pacific nation of Vanuatu, which has engaged in an on-again-off-again relationship with the separatist government in Abkhazia, released a video early Friday (June 10, 2011) seeking to clear up the confusion. In a brief statement, Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot said that Vanuatu has, in fact, recognized Abkhazia as a sovereign nation.

Abkhazia made a similar announcement 10 days ago, only to be contradicted by Vanuatu’s ambassador to the United Nations, Donald Kalpokas. In the video, Mr. Carlot, wearing a flower-print shirt, apologized for the government’s week of silence, saying he had been unable to communicate with the ambassador “due to my absence on a multilateral mission abroad in Seoul, South Korea.”

Though he offered little explanation for the decision, Mr. Carlot did give hints. He said he had studied at Moscow’s diplomatic academy during Soviet days, and that Vanuatu’s foreign policy aims at “eradicating colonialism from the face of the earth.” Only Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and another Pacific island nation, Nauru, have recognized Abkhazia, which the rest of the world considers part of Georgia.

Reached in New York, Mr. Kalpokas made it clear that he was no longer enthusiastic about the subject.

“I’m not going to touch him, because he is the minister,” he said.