TBILISI, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia wants to begin the process of "real" reconciliation with Abkhazians and Ossetians, said the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, commenting on the decision by Abkhazian President Raul Khadjimba to close five crossing points on border with Georgia.
"Yesterday a new initiative has been voiced by de-facto authorities of Abkhazia. In that respect I would like to note, that since we came to power, we have voiced our intention and readiness to begin the process of real reconciliation with our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers," Garibashvili told reporters. He has referred to the Abkhazian initiative as "unwise" and noted that such a step might worsen the lives of the locals.
On Friday Raul Khadjimba said that the border with Georgia must be strengthened and that only one crossing point should continue functioning.
In May 2013 Abkhazia added five additional crossing points to its main crossing point via the bridge across the Ingur River. The people of Gali district are allowed to cross the border, upon showing their Abkhazian or old Soviet passports, or equivalent documents.
Abkhazia broke away from Georgia, following an ethnically tinged war in 1992-1993, just after the Soviet Union collapsed.
In the first half of August 2008, after the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict, South Ossetia and Abkhazia appealed to Russia to recognize their independence from Georgia.
On August 26, 2008, Russia's then-President Dmitry Medvedev, taking into account the free will of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples and guided by the UN Charter, the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States, the 1975 OSCE Helsinki Final Act and other fundamental international documents, signed the executive orders on the recognition by the Russian Federation of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
In response to Russia's decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia severed diplomatic relations with Moscow and declared the two Caucasian republics occupied territories.
Early in September Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said Georgia plans to return the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by peaceful means.