Mar 28, 2005

Abkhazia: Peace Process

Irakli Alasania said "no breakthrough is anticipated at the Geneva talks, but it will be a good starting point to resume peace talks
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Irakli Alasania, who chairs the Tbilisi-based Abkhaz government-in-exile and who will represent the Georgian side at upcoming talks in Geneva in the capacity of the Georgian President’s representative for Abkhazia conflict resolution issues, said that “no breakthrough” is anticipated at the Geneva talks, “but it will be a good starting point” to resume peace talks.

The UN-sponsored Georgian-Abkhaz talks scheduled in Geneva on April 7-8, known as the ‘Geneva format,’ will also involve representatives from the UN Secretary General’s Group of Friends for Georgia - France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States.

In an interview, which was published on the newly launched information web-site of the Abkhaz government-in-exile, Irakli Alasania said that “a chance has emerged to start direct talks with the Abkhaz side, and the Georgian side, as well as the Abkhaz side, should not lose this chance.”

Recently both, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh have expressed their readiness to meet and hold talks.

“There are real opportunities for starting Georgian-Abkhaz talks without mediators. I do not mean that the Geneva [format] or any other international formats will not be used,” Irakli Alasania said.

“These [direct talks with the Abkhaz side] are the prime goal of the Georgian side at this stage and, as far as I know, this initiative was also supported by the Abkhaz side,” he added.

Source: Civil