02:44 GMT +317 July 2018
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    Abkhazia inaugurates new president

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    Abkhazian president-elect Alexander Ankvab was sworn in on Monday at a low-key ceremony broadcast by state television.

    Abkhazian president-elect Alexander Ankvab was sworn in on Monday at a low-key ceremony broadcast by state television.

    Ankvab, 58, who was Abkhazia's interior minister in 1992-1993, garnered nearly 55 percent of the vote in the August 26, 2011 election in the tiny mountainous region on the Black Sea coast which declared independence from Georgia in 1999. Tbilisi continues to regard it as a breakaway region.

    Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, deputies of the Abkhazian parliament and Chairman of the Supreme Court of Abkhazia Roman Mushba attended the inauguration ceremony.

    Matvienko said at the ceremony that Russia, which officially recognized Abkhazia as an independent state in 2008, will continue to support further diplomatic efforts aimed at the broader international recognition of Abkhazia.

    "Russia will continue to support your efforts in this area," she said.

    Apart from Russia, only five countries - Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Vanuatu and Tuvalu have recognized Abkhazia so far.

    Moscow and Sukhumi signed more than 40 treaties and agreements since August 2008, including in the area of military and security cooperation, and doubled their trade to $225 million this year.

    On behalf of the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Matviyenko invited Ankvab to visit Russia in the near future.

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