Abkhazia: Bagapsh Offers Measures to Foster Conflict Resolution
Sergey Bagapsh says that international guarantees of non-resumption of hostilities should be an essential part of the conflict resolution process. “The Abkhaz side should be assured that it will not be attacked by the Georgian side… Commitment by the parties involved in non-resumption of hostilities, backed by international security guarantees, should be envisaged by the document [agreement],” Bagapsh said in the letter.
Bagapsh listed lifting of Abkhazia's status of “international isolation” as the second step for conflict resolution.
“Conflict resolution is hindered by an international isolation of Abkhazia, including the absence of maritime and air communications with the rest of the world… Lifting of these restrictions will definitely foster conflict resolution,” the Abkhaz leader said.
He also said that the Georgian side should also stop “hostile propaganda” and attempts to destabilize the situation in the conflict zone, as well as discrimination of Russian peacekeeping forces stationed there under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Bagapsh reiterated Sokhumi’s readiness to continue negotiations for the implementation of the 2003 Sochi agreement regarding the return of IDPs, restoration of the railway connection via Abkhazia and rehabilitation of the Enguri hydro power plant in the conflict zone.
“These [projects] can be supplemented by other, new, mutually beneficial economic projects,” Bagapsh said.
But he also reiterated Sokhumi’s hard-line stance over
the breakaway republic's status and said that the Abkhaz side is ready to “hold
civilized negotiations over all issues, except of the status of the Abkhaz Republic,
as it is already defined by the 1999 referendum.”