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    GEORGIAN PRESIDENT READY TO GIVE "MAXIMUM POSSIBLE AUTONOMY" TO SELF-PROCLAIMED REPUBLIC OF ABKHAZIA

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    NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 27 (RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT ANDREI LOSHCHILIN) - Georgia is ready to give Abkhazia a "maximum possible autonomy", Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili said at the UN Security Council.

    He also reported on his intention to intensify efforts for a peaceful settlement of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict and called on the Security Council members "to inform the opponents of peace in Georgia of the fact that they will be responsible for their actions." Saakashvili said his recent negotiations in Moscow on the Abkhazian problem were fruitful. At the same time he called upon the Russian authorities to stop "illegal privatization of the Abkhazian property," and the issuing of Russian passports to the inhabitants of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the two rebellious autonomies.

    Mikhail Saakashvili welcomed the efforts of the "Group of Friends" of the Secretary General for Georgia, which includes Great Britain, Germany, Russia, the USA and France.

    He also pointed to the positive results of the UN mission's activity for achieving comprehensive settlement of the conflict in Abkhazia.

    Saakashvili left the UN headquarters for the New York Council for International Relations. Addressing the members of this influential non-governmental organization the Georgian president declared his readiness to "open a new page in relations with Moscow, which worsened over the last 10 years." According to Saakashvili, Russia can be an important stabilizing factor in the Caucasus.

    He also reported on his plans of turning Abkhazia into a peaceful tourist and mountain ski resort after its peaceful re-unification with Georgia.

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