GEORGIAN LEADERSHIP TO START SERIOUS DIALOGUE WITH ABKHAZIA SOON

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TBILISI, Nov 6 (RIA Novosti's Marina Kvaratskhelia) - The Georgian leadership will soon start a serious dialogue with Abkhazia (self-proclaimed republic on Georgian territory), Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Friday night at a press conference.

"We are ready to extend a hand to the Abkhazian people as a country that can protect the interests of all peoples on its territory. Georgia won't be fully free without restoration of territorial integrity," said Mr. Saakashvili.

"Georgian integrity is the main task that will be surely achieved within my presidential term," stressed the president.

"The road to a strong Georgia lies via Abkhazia," said Mr. Saakashvili.

On the whole the president assessed events in Abkhazia as developing in a right way.

"I won't say tomorrow or the day after tomorrow something will change in our relations. Much depends on our economic development, the beginning of a serious peacekeeping process on our part and depends on a dialogue with common Abkhazian people," said the Georgian president.

The conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia started in early 1990s after Georgia deprived Abkhazia of an autonomy status. The war in Abkhazia started from the landing of Georgian troops in August 1992. In several months Georgian troops were ousted from Abkhazian territory, and some 200-300 thousand Abkhazian people, Georgians by nationality, left with them. From 1994, a CIS peacekeeping contingent has been in Abkhazia. It is made up of Russian military (Abkhazia is situated in Georgia's west and borders on Russia).

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