Abkhazian leader says Georgia undermines Caucasus settlement

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The president of Georgia's self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia said Friday that Georgia had torpedoed four-party talks on resolving the long-running conflict.
MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - The president of Georgia's self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia said Friday that Georgia had torpedoed four-party talks on resolving the long-running conflict.

Talks were supposed to be held today between the two sides and representatives of the United Nations and peacekeepers in the region. But Sergei Bagapsh said Georgia had sent a representative who took part in the 1992-1993 war in a move that was unacceptable for the breakaway region, which meant it had been forced it to withdraw.

"Abkhazia has secured the right to withdraw from the negotiating process," he said.

He also said that Abkhazia would use diplomacy to prevent Georgia from placing an alternative Abkhazian government in the Kodori Gorge, the de facto border with Tbilisi-controlled territory. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced the plan Thursday after Tbilisi re-asserted its authority in the area by conducting an operation against a rebellious militia leader.

Georgia said it believed the talks would be held July 29 after the identity of Georgia's representative is coordinated with Sukhumi.

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