Abkhazia: Abkhazia's independence is not topic for discussion with Georgia
However, Mr. Shamba emphasized that Abkhazia had never refused to negotiate with Georgia and intended to resume talks as soon as presidential elections were over.
"Irrespective of whether Abkhazia will be recognized by the international community in the near future or not, it must have dialogue with Georgia on our relations as we are neighbors and we have a lot of problems to tackle," said Mr. Shamba.
Mr. Shamba emphasized that the Abkhazian leaders would conduct talks proceeding from this.
"Georgia and Abkhazia have held talks for over 11 years already, which occasionally experience more intensive periods and stagnation, which is natural as different circumstances influence the negotiating process," said Mr. Shamba. "There were periods of more intensive talks, while currently the process is in the lull as our domestic problems have diverted us from talks," added the minister.
"As soon as we have settled our domestic problems related to the election campaign, we will form new government bodies and will be able to carry on talks with Georgia more effectively. At any rate the talks must be carried on, we always believed so and believe in this now," said the minister.
Speaking to reporters Abkhazian Prime Minister Nodar Khashba said Abkhazia would not revise its position on relations with Georgia. "We determined our relations with Georgia long ago and we will not change our decision," said the premier.
"Our Constitution reads that Abkhazia is an independent state. This is what the Abkhazians voted for," the Novosti-Georgia agency quoted Mr. Khashba as saying.
Mr. Khashba noted the importance of Abkhazia's relations with Russia. "A lot of socio-economic problems facing the republic are resolved thanks to Russian assistance," said Mr. Khashba.
Source: Ria Novosti