Sokhumi Blames Tbilisi for Thwarting Talks

Georgia Materials 2 August 2006 15:48 (UTC +04:00)

(Civil.ge) - Foreign Minister of breakaway Abkhazia Sergey Shamba said that the Georgian side's last-minute change in the composition of its delegation led to Sokhumis refusal to participate in a session of the Georgian-Abkhaz Coordinating Council scheduled for August 2 in Sokhumi.

The Georgian side provided us with a list of delegation members only today [on August 1], and there was only one person Merab Antadze [the State Minister for Conflict Resolution Issues] - who we agreed to beforehand. All other members of the delegation are unknown to us. We offered to hold the session in a smaller format with the participation of only Merab Antadze and the Georgian Presidents special representative for [Abkhaz] conflict resolution issues Irakli Alasania, but this proposal was rejected by the Georgian side, Apsnipress news agency quoted Sergey Shamba, reports Trend.

He said that the delegation's change of composition was the Georgian sides deliberate move to trigger Sokhumis refusal to participate in talks.

Shamba also said that four new members of the Georgian sides delegation are internally displaced persons from Abkhazia, and the Abkhaz side fears they might be representatives of the Tbilisi-based Abkhaz government-in-exile, which is denounced by Sokhumi as a puppet government.