Georgia ready for ceasefire with Abkhazia

30_1.jpgThe US is offering to set up a joint Abkhaz-Georgian police force with international trainers; it could be an international police force, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew J. Bryza said. At the same time Mr. Bryza said, “Perhaps we need to make some contribution just to carry our weight”.“…Now in the Galy district those residents who are ethnically Georgian do not feel safe. The level of criminality is dangerous and unacceptable, there are bands of bandits and they terrorize the population,” he said in his interview to Moscow-based Interfax news agency while substantiating his proposal.

 

Meanwhile Georgia stated that it is ready to sign a ceasefire agreement with Abkhazia provided that the European Union acts as the guarantor, as News Georgia reported referring to the statement made by Georgian Foreign Minister on the Issues of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Vice Premier Georgi Baramidze, which he made in connection with the last Friday meeting High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy(CFSP) and the Secretary-General of both Council of the European Union (EU) and the Western European Union (WEU) Javier Solana with the leader of unrecognized republic of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh.

 

Mze TV channel reported that president of Abkhazia gave two ultimatums to Georgia at the meeting with Secretary-General of Council of the EU. The first one is to have the Georgian troops withdrawn from the Kodori Gorge, and the second one to sign a ceasefire agreement.

 

“On behalf of separatists we will not accept any ultimatums. Georgian troops will be where they are supposed to be – on the territory of Georgia. And on this issue we will not be asking permission from separatists or their masters. Georgia is not violating a single agreement, unlike Russia and the separatists,” Mr. Baramidze mentioned.

 

Concerning the ceasefire agreement, the State Minister said that the Georgian side will sign it with no problem “as long as the real guarantor of that agreement will be the EU, and not Russia, and thus there will be real guarantees that worse things will not happen in Abkhazia”.

 

Mr. Baramidze reminded a recent story and mentioned that “the loss of Gagry followed one of such agreements and the second one was followed by the loss of Sukhumi as well as the control of the main part of Abkhazia”.

 

“We are not going to repeat the mistakes made by the previous governments. We are ready for a constructive dialogue with the Russians and with the separatists. We want to implement our plan, which first of all implies the involvement of neutral and really interested in peace European and international peacekeeping forces, as well as the safe and unconditional return of the refugees,” Georgi Baramidze said.

 

Meanwhile High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Secretary-General of the Council of the EU Javier Solana believes that without participation of Russia it is impossible to solve the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. Today he met with president of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh.

 

Georgia is skeptical about Mr. Solana’s efforts to convince the central Abkhazian breakaway government in Sukhumi to change their positions. One of the leaders of the ruling party United National Movement, David Bakradze, stated that Georgia cherishes no particular illusions that after Javier Solana’s visit to Abkhazia the position of Abkhazian separatists will change.

 

“The Georgian side does not count on the fact that after one meeting with an EU representative the Sukhumi authorities will change their positions and show political pragmatism, we are not hoping that they will agree to the compromise proposals. But at least the EU delegation will have a distinct picture of the position of today’s Abkhaz leadership, which in our point of view is not interested in the settlement of the conflict,” Mr. Bakradze said.

 

In his opinion, the visit of Javier Solana to Georgia is a “clear political signal that the EU is more actively getting involved in the process of the peaceful settlement of the Abkhaz conflict within the framework of the internationally recognized borders of Georgia”.

 

Kavkaz Center

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