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Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister to visit Latin American states

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, April 20
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov will pay a visit to Latin American states Bolivia and Ecuador, the Foreign Ministry announced on April 19. At the traditional Monday press briefing fellow Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Jalaghania said that the aim of the visit is to establish bilateral economic and political relations with these two states. “We are planning to sign a regulation memorandum between the Foreign Ministries of Bolivia and Georgia,” Jalaghania told journalists.

The visit follows the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nicaragua and Georgia’s two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia last week. There is no threat that Bolivia or Ecuador will recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, according to the Georgian Ministry. However, according to Jalaghania, the issue of recognising the two breakaway regions of Georgia by Latin American states in general emerged after Nicaragua recognised Tskhinvali and Sokhumi.

Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos Lopez, who visited both Abkhazia and South Ossetia last week and signed documents on establishing diplomatic relations with the de facto republics, called on other states to recognise them as well. “It is just that Abkhazia and South Ossetia be recognised, because they have a very rich history, have fought for their independence and can claim their rights to independence and freedom and to create the best conditions of life for themselves,” RIA Novosti quoted the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister as saying. “This is a call for peace,” Lopez stated.

The Nicaraguan Foreign Minister assessed his visit to the de facto republics as “interesting.” “It was aimed at expressing political support for Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the Minister said. “We wanted to give moral and political support to these two nations,” he added, according to RIA Novosti. The attempts South Ossetia is making to overcome the results of the war and create better conditions for its people are “impressive”, Lopez told Russian journalists.

The decision to establish diplomatic ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia does not need to be approved by the Nicaraguan Parliament, Lopez said. He added that the duties of Ambassador to Sokhumi and Tskhinvali will be carried out by the Nicaraguan Ambassador to Russia. Samuel Santos Lopez said that Nicaragua is ready to develop relations with Georgia’s breakaway regions in other fields as well, including culture, trade and economy.

The Georgian side has assessed the Nicaraguan Government’s decision to recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent as an “unfriendly step”. Georgian MPs and the legal Abkhazian Government-in-Exile are planning to raise this issue at “all international forums at all levels” and demand sanctions against Nicaragua. “Parliament will give an adequate reaction to this move, however we cannot say what kind of reaction it will exactly be,” MP from the ruling National Movement and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration Davit Darchiashvili told The Messenger earlier last week. No other statements have been made on the issue by the Georgian Parliament or Foreign Ministry so far.