Georgia should start direct talks with its former republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the leader of the country's opposition movement For Just Georgia said on Friday.
Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August 2008 after repelling a Georgian assault on South Ossetia in a five-day war. Only Nicaragua, Venezuela and the tiny Pacific island state of Nauru have followed suit.
"We must forget about the term 'return of territories,' and talk about the return of nations, the return of people and the reunification of Georgia. Primarily we need to return Abkhazians and Ossetians and restore relations," ex-Georgian premier Zurab Nogaideli told Ekho Moskvy radio station.
"I think direct talks between Tbilisi and [the Abkhazian capital] Sukhumi, and between Tbilisi and [the South Ossetian capital] Tskhinvali should start soon," he said.
Nogaideli said talks should focus on ruling out any possibility of a repetition of war or the use of force to settle conflicts.
He also urged the restoration of transport links and economic cooperation between Georgia and its former republics.
MOSCOW, May 7 (RIA Novosti)