Abkhazia: Friendly Overtures From Georgia?
Recent announcements may be a step toward normalizing transport and crucial economic relations between Georgia and Abkhazia.
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Temur Iakobashvili, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration, did not say what conditions might be attached. Abkhazia has rejected past Georgian offers because they were tied to diluting its claim to independence.
But Iakobashvili, brought into the government in a reshuffle last month [January 2008], struck a tone that was more conciliatory than the rhetoric from Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
"I am ready to discuss the question of lifting economic sanctions," the minister said. "We can look at everything, there are no taboo subjects: not sanctions, not the railway," he said.
A rail link between
"We can discuss all of this, we must do everything to restore relations between us, economic and trade relations," Iakobashvili said.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili will meet with U.S. President George W. Bush next month [March 2008] to discuss the ex-Soviet republic […] and efforts at democratic improvements ahead of parliamentary elections.
Saakashvili's election last month [January 2008] followed a violent crackdown on opponents that damaged
The White House said Bush and Saakashvili would meet on March 19 .