Kofi Annan Calls Abkhaz Side to Start Talks

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, July 22, 2002) – UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appeals to the Abkhaz side in particular to agree to a discussion on the substance of the paper on competences, and to use the opportunity to begin negotiations on a settlement that would guarantee the rights and interests of the multi-ethnic population of Abkhazia.

On July 18 UN Secretary-General released report to the UN Security Council on the situation in Abkhazia.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended that the mandate of United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) be extended for six months, until 31 January 2003, as there is a “regrettable” lack of progress in jumpstarting negotiations between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides.

The Abkhaz side is against to discuss the document regarding “Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competences between Tbilisi and Sukhumi [capital of breakaway Republic of Abkhazia]”.

The document details remain confidential, but Georgian officials hail its provisions that consider Abkhazia as a part of the Georgian state.