Tbilisi Denounces De Facto Abkhazian Delegation’s Visit to Syria

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has released a statement regarding the recent visit of an “Abkhazian delegation” to Syria, saying the visit represents a follow-up to Russia and its occupation regimes’ provocative policy with respect to Georgia.

The so-called delegation from Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia concluded its “official visit” in Syria on Wednesday.

“By resorting to such actions, Russia makes futile efforts to legitimize the occupation regimes and the violent redrawing of the borders of our sovereign state,” the statement of the MFA reads.

The MFA added that diplomatic representatives of Syria, as well as international partners, have been contacted and duly informed about the matter.

“Due to our government’s intensive work with the international community, the territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders has not been called into question.

“We call on all sovereign states to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia and its sovereign rights and to avoid any involvement in planned provocative activities,” the ministry stated.

The de facto MFA of Abkhazia reported that the delegation of the “Republic of Abkhazia,” headed by the “Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia,” Daur Kove, held meetings in Syria on August 16-22.

The so-called Abkhazian Ministry stated that Syrian authorities expressed interest in developing trade and economic cooperation with the “Republic”.

The Abkhazian side also reported that their “delegation” met with Imad Khamis, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The so-called ministry said the Syrian leadership perceives the “Republic of Abkhazia” as a friendly “state” and intends to establish and develop bilateral inter-governmental relations.

“Guided by the directives of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Syrian government intends to build full-scale relations with Syria's strategic partners, including the Republic of Abkhazia,” the statement reads.

The de facto MFA added that by order of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Syria, a special government commission will be formed, which, together with Abkhazian colleagues, will create a concept aimed at developing socio-economic and trade relations with the “Republic of Abkhazia”.

The so-called ministry also said that the “Abkhazian delegation” was hosted by Najat Anzur, the President of the Syrian National Council, and by Mohammed Samer Khalil, the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade of Syria.

Since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, Russia has recognized the independence of Abkhazia and another separatist region, South Ossetia. In total, only four countries recognize Georgia’s breakaway regions as independent republics: Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru.

Thea Morrison

24 August 2017 20:59