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10:48 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Tbilisi pins hopes on German plan to resolve Abkhaz conflict

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Tbilisi hopes that a German plan for the resolution of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict will receive wide support, a senior lawmaker said on Wednesday, adding that if it did not then the former Soviet state would be forced to take unilateral steps.
TBILISI, July 16 (RIA Novosti) - Tbilisi hopes that a German plan for the resolution of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict will receive wide support, a senior lawmaker said on Wednesday, adding that if it did not then the former Soviet state would be forced to take unilateral steps.

According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will arrive on Thursday in Tbilisi on an official visit. He is expected to reveal the details of a three-stage plan for the resolution of the "frozen" conflict.

"I hope there will be an agreement on the joint plan concerning conflict resolution in Abkhazia," David Bakradze, Georgian parliament's speaker, said, adding that if there was no progress, then Georgia would be forced to "unilaterally bring an influence to bear on the deployment of armed forces in Abkhazia."

Russia recently moved to establish closer ties with the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia and sent additional peacekeepers to the region, saying they were needed to deter "new bloodshed."

Tbilisi is demanding the withdrawal of peacekeepers deployed by Russia in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia and the annulment of former president Vladimir Putin's decree on closer ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another Georgian breakaway republic.

Relations between Russia and Georgia plunged to a new low recently against the backdrop of violence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Another factor in recent tension is Georgia's bid to join NATO. The tiny Caucasus state is seeking to be admitted to a NATO Membership Action Plan in December, which would pave the way for entry into the military bloc.