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    GEORGIA, ABKHAZIA TO DISCUSS SECURITY GUARANTEES IN SUKHUMI

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    TBILISI, May 20 (RIA Novosti) - A third Georgia-Abkhazia meeting on security guarantees will be held in Sukhumi on May 20, said press attache of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) Envera Selimovich Wednesday. The meeting will be chaired by Heidi Tagliavini, special representative of the UN Secretary General for Georgia.

    The Georgian delegation will be led by Georgy Khaindrava, state minister for conflict settlement, and the Abkhazian delegation will be chaired by Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba, said the press attache. Other participants will represent the group of Friends of Georgia for the Secretary General.

    In late April, an unofficial meeting of experts was held in Geneva during preparations for the third official Georgia-Abkhazia meeting, said the UNOMIG representative. They exchanged opinions and discussed security guarantees on the bilateral basis and in the context of possible international involvement.

    During their second meeting in Tbilisi on February 10, 2004, the two sides confirmed their commitment to non-resumption of hostilities and exclusively peaceful settlement of all disputes. But Valery Arshba, vice-president of the self-proclaimed republic, expects complications.

    "Young and ambitious politicians have come to power in Georgia and hence Abkhazia is in for a hard time," Arshba said during a meeting with General Kazi Ashfaq Ahmed, chief military observer of the UNOMIG, in Sukhumi. "As of now, the situation is tense, which is why the presence of military observers of the UNOMIG and the CIS Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the conflict zone is vital to preclude the escalation of the conflict."

    Gen. Ashfaq, whose mandate expires on May 24, thanked the Abkhazian leadership for co-operation. As chief military observer of the UNOMIG, I did my best to promote the peace process, said the general.

    The new UNOMIG's military observer, Gen. Hussein Gobashi, was presented to Valery Arshba at the meeting.

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