Abkhazia: Economic Interest to Bring Georgia and Abkhazia Closer Together
"If the non-use of force is made the cornerstone, progress can be reached", he said on Wednesday at the press conference on results of the talks with Jean-Marie Guehenno, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
In the opinion of Mr. Bagapsh, normalization of Abkhaz-Georgian relations "should begin with real things, to be more precise with economic projects of mutual interest".
He confirmed the inviolability of the Abkhaz position on the need to preserve in the republic the CIS Collective Peacekeeping Force for the zone of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. "Twelve years of peace in Abkhazia proves the efficiency of the Collective Force. In a complicated time the Russian peacekeepers prevented military clashes and should continue their mission under the mandate", Mr. Bagapsh said.
In turn, Jean-Marie Guehenno expressed satisfaction over the pragmatic approach of the leadership of Abkhazia to settling the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. He said that upon return to Tbilisi he would pass to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili the desire of the Abkhaz side to "go from war rhetoric to the settlement of all the matters by peaceful methods".
The two also discussed the rehabilitation of refugees and the devastated economy of Abkhazia, the possibility of restoration of the railway infrastructure and broadening of the tax base of the Abkhaz budget.
The European Union can fund rehabilitation projects in case corresponding political contacts are in place, Jean-Marie Guehenno said.
Source: RIA Novosti