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    Georgia Readies Harsh Response Over Russia-Abkhazia Military Cooperation

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    Georgia has vowed to act "aggressively" on reports that claim its former territory of Abkhazia has struck a joint defense agreement with Russia, the nation's defense and foreign policy chiefs said in a statement Saturday.

    TBILISI, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia has vowed to act "aggressively" on reports that claim its former territory of Abkhazia has struck a joint defense agreement with Russia, the nation's defense and foreign policy chiefs said in a statement Saturday.

    Georgia's defense and crisis management council held talks on Saturday to look into the situation in Abkhazia, an area Tbilisi considers to be an occupied territory. A separate meeting on foreign policy took place in the Defense Ministry. Following the talks, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili ordered to draw up a plan on the country's policy toward Russia.

    "All state departments will work on this plan, which will give start to aggressive foreign policy steps," Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Alasania told reporters after the two meetings.

    Reports transpired earlier that Russia and Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia had mapped out a defense strategy that allegedly includes the creation of a joint military force "to repel foreign aggression and act together to patrol the border."

    In the wake of the reports, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili scheduled the National Security Council to convene on October 28 to address the new challenges.

    Abkhazia broke away from Georgia following an ethnically tinged war in 1992-1993, just after the Soviet Union collapsed. 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.

    Tags:
    defense, Abkhazia, Georgia
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