Georgia gov't seeks Abkhazia conflict end

April 29, 2004 at 6:30 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, April 29 (UPI) -- The new prime minister of Georgia told the U.N. Security Council Thursday his government is committed to resolve the conflict in Abkhazia.

Briefing the panel on the latest developments in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, Zurab Zhvania said just a few months ago a new president and parliament had been elected and already the new government had disarmed and neutralized illegal armed factions, which had no connection either to the government or internally displaced persons.

The government had also detained several criminal groups operating in western Georgia, especially in areas adjacent to breakaway Abkhazia, allied with Russia, which had been involved in kidnappings and abductions and were connected to the kidnapping of U.N. personnel, he said.

Noting the relationship between his country and the Russian Federation had been strained over the Abkhazia issue, Zhvania said the situation has changed for the better and that "unprecedented steps" had been taken to improve relations between the two states, with instantaneous results in a number of areas.

However, he said there were still serious problems regarding the conflict in Abkhazia, whose solution lay in the good will of everyone, including the Russian authorities.

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