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    Abkhazian president taps foreign minister as new premier

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    Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh named longtime Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba the republic's new prime minister on Saturday.

    Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh named longtime Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba the republic's new prime minister on Saturday.

    Shamba replaces Alexander Ankvab, who became vice president after Bagapsh's reelection in December.

    Bagapsh was inaugurated for his second term as president on Friday, and announced Shamba's promotion on Saturday at the final meeting of the outgoing Cabinet.

    Shamba had served as Abkhazia's foreign minister since 1997, except for a six-month break from June to December 2004.

    The president was reelected on December 12, winning more than 60% of the vote. His former vice president, Raul Khadzimba, finished a distant second.

    It was Abkhazia's first election since Moscow recognized its independence from Tbilisi in August 2008 following a brief war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia, another former Georgian republic.

    Abkhazia has also been recognized by Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru.

    SUKHUMI, February 13 (RIA Novosti)

     

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