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    ABKHAZIA CONCERNED ABOUT SITUATION DEVELOPMENT AROUND ADZHARIA, SAYS ABKHAZIAN LEADER

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    MOSCOW, March 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Abkhazia (a self-proclaimed republic in the territory of Georgia) is concerned about the situation around Adzharia (the autonomous republic of Georgia). Abkhazian leader Vladislav Ardzinba disclosed this in his statement, which RIA Novosti received on Monday.

    "Our people lived through all the horrors of war. Therefore, the events in neighbouring Georgia cannot but worry us," Mr. Ardzinba said.

    Having pointed out that several thousand Abkhazians live in the territory of Adzharia, the Abkhazian leader expressed "serious apprehensions with regard to their fate." Vladislav Ardzinba called upon the Georgian authorities "not to use arms for settling relations with Adzharia, because this will create a real danger of breaking out a civil war." "In the past few years, the Adzharian leadership has proved its ability to ensue stability in the republic and to conduct a responsible policy," Mr. Ardzinba believes.

    In his opinion, "there are no doubts that the problem can be settled politically, through a constructive dialogue, not by using arms." The Abkhazian leader expressed the hope that "the Georgian leadership has enough political will and wisdom to prevent the dangerous development of the events, capable to seriously undermine the regional stability."

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