Nauru, the world's smallest island state, has recognized the independence of the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia, with both countries signing an agreement on Tuesday on establishing diplomatic relations.
Nauru is the fourth country to recognize Abkhazia's independence, joining Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The signing ceremony was held in the building of the Abkhaz presidential administration. The document was signed by Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba and his Nauru counterpart Kieren Keke.
"We hope that the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries will help establish stability and peace. I hope that other countries will follow our example and will also recognize the independence of Abkhazia," Keke told reporters after the signing ceremony.
Abkhazia held on Saturday its first presidential election since Russia recognized its independence in August 2008 after a brief war with Georgia. Incumbent President Sergei Bagapsh was re-elected for another term with over 60% of the vote.
The Abkhaz leader hailed the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
"The size of a state and the size of its population have no significance. Nauru is a UN member state. We in Abkhazia are signing for the first time an agreement on the establishment of diplomatic relations on factual recognition," Bagapsh said, adding that the process of the recognition of the former Georgian republic would continue.
Nauru, an island in the South Pacific Ocean surrounded by a coral reef, is the world's only country with no capital. It has a population of about 15,000 people and became a member of the United Nations in 1999.
SUKHUMI, December 15 (RIA Novosti)