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Kokoity and Baghapsh to visit Latin American states

By Mzia Kupunia
Monday, June 28
The de facto leaders of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Sergey Baghapsh and Eduard Kokoity, will pay a joint visit to three Latin American states in the second half of July, Abkhazian and Ossetian media outlets have reported. They will meet officials in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba.

The de facto South Ossetian President has already confirmed this information. “Yes we are planning to visit these countries. Currently we are preparing a package of documents which will be signed during our visit. These concern deepening mutual relations,” the de facto leader stated.

Meanwhile de facto Abkhazian Foreign Minister Maxim Ghvinjia told journalists that “Abkhazian Embassies” will be opened in Nicaragua and Venezuela next year. “A piece of land has already been allocated in Venezuela on which to open the Abkhazian diplomatic representation. A citizen of Abkhazia living there, Zaur Gvajava, will be appointed our representative,” Ghvinjia said, adding that Gvajava is the trainer of the Venezuelan Olympic boxing team. The de facto Minister also expressed confidence that Argentina will recognise Abkhazia as an independent state. “When Argentina recognises us, we will open an Abkhazian Embassy there too,” he noted.

Ghvinjia said that the Latin American states each have “their own approach” to the issue of recognising Abkhazia as a “sovereign state.” “The most important thing is that these countries are making decisions independently. For example, the US Congress sent an appeal to the Ecuadorean President calling on him not to recognize Abkhazia as an independent state,” the de facto Foreign Minister said.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry has “condemned” the recognition Georgia’s breakaway regions as independent states, saying it is a “violation of international norms and principles” and a “legitimisation of ethnic cleansing” in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.