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EU representative in Sokhumi

Tuesday, July 20
EU Special Representative Peter Semneby has met Abkhazia's de facto President Sergey Bagapsh and de facto PM Sergey Shamba in Sokhumi. They discussed the involvement of the EU in regulating the conflict. The separatists are not demanding recognition from the EU but are open for dialogue.

Semneby suggested that the Abkhazian population could be included in different projects without the political status of territory being discussed. He said that transportation and communication systems could be developed and also student exchange programmes. So called PM Shamba however rejected transportation and communication links but supported student exchange programmes. He also stated that attempts to return Abkhazia to Georgia through economic projects will be unsuccessful.

Bagapsh also mentioned, commenting on Georgia’s action plan for the occupied territories, that this is a document for Georgia’s domestic use and Abkhazia and South Ossetia will not participate in any of the plans outlined therein because they are independent states and not parts of Georgia. While the problem of IDP return and reintegration issues are on the agenda there will be no contact with Georgia at all, he said.

The Abkhaz puppet leaders also threatened to leave the Geneva negotiations as well. It should however be said that the Abkhaz leaders are simply repeating Russian homework which they have learnt by heart.