-------------------- News from Abkhazia --------------------


 Abkhaz president: Georgia is buying powerful multiple launch rocket systems


Abkhazia is concerned about headlong militarization of Georgia, Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh announced at a meeting with UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Georgia Jean Arnault. As a REGNUM correspondent was told by presidential spokesman Kristian Bzhania, at the meeting, Bagapsh informed the UN official on “reliable evidence of significant growth of the amount of weapons and military equipment bought by Georgia.” “In particular, Georgia is buying powerful multiple launch rocket systems,” Bagapsh said. The president stressed that the process made Abkhazia take reciprocal action. “We assess Georgia’s actions as preparations of the official Tbilisi to a large-scale military operation,” Bagapsh said.


The Abkhaz president expressed concern with the fact that international institutions being involved in the conflict settlement showed no response to the “dangerous trends.” Abkhazia called for all the parties to influence the Georgian side. “Otherwise, Abkhazia will have to take reciprocal action. Such way of developments will not promote the conflict settlement anyhow,” Bagapsh concluded.


In his turn, Jean Arnault proposed to discuss issues connected with independent monitoring of the conflict zones in order to alleviate concern regarding breach of the cease-fire.


10.30.2007  Regnum


 Intl pressure on Georgia secured Abkhazian troops’ release - Bagapsh


Sukhum, The release of abducted Abkhazian military is a result of heavy pressures on Georgia from international organizations, said the leader of the republic of Abkhazia, Sergei Bagapsh.


“Nobody should dare say the release was an act of goodwill by Georgia. It was a result of serious pressure on Georgia by international organizations, first and foremost, the United Nations. It became clear for them after a special investigation that Georgian forces had intruded into Abkhazian territory and opened fire at people from a close range,” Bagapsh told the media in Sukhum.


Seven Abkhazian military, taken prisoner on September 20 in the village of Khodzhal, the Tkuarchel District, were set free on October 27.


The agreement on their release was achieved at negotiations between Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba and Georgian Conflicts Settlement Minister David Bakradze.


Bagapsh voiced concern over Georgia’s growing militarization.


“We shall make a proportionate response,” the Abkhazian leader said. “Abkhazia is for a peace dialogue and talks, but only as long as this is possible.”


10.30.2007  Itar-Tass


 Georgian servicemen detained in Abkhaz Gal region


Sukhum, Russian peacekeepers from the Collective Peacekeeping Force deployed in the Gal region of Abkhazia have detained a Georgian policeman and a group of servicemen who accompanied him after the Georgian side attempted to attack a Russian peacekeeping patrol, Assistant commander of the collective peacekeeping contingent Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Diordiyev said Tuesday.


The patrol led by commander of 527th motor-rifle regiment Sergei Yenin had been patrolling a territory in the lower zone of the Gal region and on the adjoining territory of the Zugdidi region on Tuesday. Simultaneously, the patrol was monitoring the sanitary situation on the territory where an epidemic of African plague recently hit cattle.


During the incident the Georgian Interior officer used obscene language, threatened to set the peacekeepers’ personal armored carrier on fire and gun down the Russian peacekeepers, Diordiyev said. The Russian peacekeepers took measures of self-defense after the Georgian servicemen attempted to use physical force against the senior officer of the Russian patrol. They disarmed the Georgian Interior officer and detained both the officer and his entourage, Diordiyev said.


The identity of the Georgian servicemen is being established. After the circumstances of the incident are clarified the Georgian servicemen detained in the incident will be turned over to representatives of the U.N. Observer Mission, Diordiyev said.


Meanwhile, Georgian television told Tass in Tbilisi that unknown people had abducted three Georgia OMON servicemen who were on duty in the Ganmukhuri region and drove them off to the Gal region.


10.30.2007  Itar-Tass


 Georgia releases Abkhazian captives


Tbilisi, Georgia released on Saturday seven Abkhazian soldiers more than one month after some Georgian commandos captured them from the Abkhazian region of Tkaurchal.


David Bakradze, a Georgian state official in charge of management across the conflict zones, was on Friday in Sukhum, Abkhazia’s capital, to meet with Sergei Shamba, the Foreign Minister of Abkhazia. His announcement of plans to release the Abkhazian captives very soon came only one day before the soldiers were handed in to the United Nations office in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia. The Abkhazian soldiers will possibly arrive safely at their country on Sunday.


The Georgian court of law sentenced the Abkhazian captives to five years in prison when they were kept as captives.


The Georgian administration tried after September 21 when the Abkhazian soldiers were captured to alter the real story behind the incident. It said in its media reports that Abkhazians fought Georgian soldiers in Upper Kodor. However, a United Nations mission for military investigation found out after its search across the region that the incident happened not in Upper Kodor but in the Abkhazian region of Tkaurchal—thus proving Abkhazia right in its claims. The fighting left two Abkhazians and two Russians dead at that time.


10.28.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Sukhum hazelnuts escalate tension in Gal


Sukhum, The reason behind a recent escalation of tension in the Abkhazian region of Gal as a place that hosts a large Georgian population is, strangely enough, the rising price of hazelnuts in the capital city of Abkhazia.


With a recent rise in the hazelnut prices on the market of Sukhum, Abkhazia’s capital, the Gal producers of hazelnut had to sell their products to customers in Sukhum, instead of Georgia. This created a tendency towards violence on the part of Georgian security forces, situated along the border between the two countries, to earn more money, according to Abkhazian officials.


News of a robbery in Gal of a bus full of hazelnut workers placed further emphasis on recent events of seizure. Abkhazian representative of Gal said that three masked people stopped the bus while it was set on its way to Gal from the village of Saberio and fled through the Ingur River to Georgia after they stole money, other valuable things and even some hazelnuts.


Abkhazian officials think that the Georgian security forces on duty in Zugdidi area helped the robbers flee to , because they probably did not want the hazelnut bus to arrive in Sukhum.


10.27.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Abkhazian FM criticises western supply of arms to Georgia


Sukhum, Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba accused some western countries of supplying arms in “aid” to at the risk of causing a new war across the region.


Mr. Shamba met in the capital city Sukhum of Abkhazia with a group of United Nations officials. His meeting with the UN officials was followed by his accusative statement that the regional security is under growingly serious risk from international green light to Georgian armament.


“It is obvious that the Georgian administration is acting provokingly to trigger the cause for a regional war here. And what is more, is receiving encouragement from some western countries to do so as they supply arms in aid to ,” said Mr. Shamba.


Mr. Shamba also accused of letting illegal flights along its border with Abkhazia, and spoke in forceful words when he said that Abkhazia has the power to end any illegalities of that kind.


10.25.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Tskhinval blames Tbilisi for preparing armed provocations


Moscow, South Ossetia's Foreign Ministry has blamed the Georgian authorities for preparing military provocations in South Ossetia and Abkhazia ahead of an opposition protest due on November 2 against the policies being pursued by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.


"The goal of these plans is clear - to distract the attention of the public from the socioeconomic and political problems in Georgia and to try once again 'to boost patriotism' by issuing calls for consolidation for the sake of the supposed 'territorial integrity,'" the foreign ministry of the breakaway republic said in a statement on Thursday.


10.25.2007  Interfax


 South Ossetia, Abkhazia to jointly rebuff possible Georgian aggression - Kokoity


Tskhinval, Georgia is preparing aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia in early November, 2007, South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity has said.


"Today I had a telephone conversation with Abkhaz president Sergei Bagapsh, we discussed information we are getting that Georgia has been preparing a special operation to be launched in Abkhazia and South Ossetia with the forces of the special purpose police of the Georgian power structures," Kokoity told Interfax on Wednesday.


"We are calling on Georgia to resolve all controversial issues by talks and in case of aggravation of the situation all responsibility for the consequences will remain completely with the Georgian leadership," Kokoity said.


"We agreed with Abkhaz leader on a joint response in case of a Georgian aggression against Abkhazia and South Ossetia," Kokoity said.


"I want to express my regret and disappointment at the Georgian position at the JCC session in Tbilisi, where the Georgian side refused to sign the most important documents meant to stabilize the situation in the region. All this confirms the Georgian intention to solve all issues with Abkhazia exclusively by force," Kokoity said.


10.24.2007  Interfax


 Ankara receives angry response from Circassians


Uzuncaorman, A group of Circassians were in the Hendek district of Sakarya on Saturday to voice joint reaction against interference from the Turkish government in cancelling the plans of Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh to take a trip October 17-24 to.


A group of approximately 500 Circassians came on Saturday from across to meet in the Uzuncaorman village of the Hendek district of Sakarya, a northwestern city in Turkey.


Bagapsh was already scheduled to take part in activities in Uzuncaorman before his trip was officially cancelled. Without him, the group had to gather at 1 pm in Uzuncaorman.


The program began with one-minute silent homage to those who were killed in Abkhazia, Chechnia and Turkey.


Kadir Erkaya was the first to speak as President of the Caucasian Association of Culture in Sakarya in overt complaint about the prevention of Bagapsh’s trip to, because, he said, it hurt the honour of Abkhazian Diaspora to have the impression that their presence in the country was not valued.


‘Shall we be thankful even though our guest was rejected in his appeal to visit the country?’


Suat Çelikçi, a representative of the Youth Commission of the Abkhazian Association, was the second to speak, though harshly this time: “Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh had to cancel under immense pressure from the Turkish government his trip to , where he would have embraced his people, though all kinds of preparation were already in place. Some statement is certain to come from Turkish officials about the cancellation. However, no statement whatsoever to come now or later will not definitely be binding for us. The Turkish government seriously hurt us in our heart. We are not the representatives of the Abkhazian people; we are, however, Abkhazians. We have been shot through in our metaphorical attachment to joint values. We sacrificed our lands for our guests. How can we be expected to thank those for forcing our guests to go back after they came all the way down here?”


Çelikçi concluded his speech with words that follow: “We, as North Caucasians , are most crowded when someone from us die. The cancellation of Bagapsh’s trip has actually been a funeral-like occasion for us to attend. We are sure that all North Caucasians will participate in the joint reaction against the Turkish government.”


Mecdi Cengiz, the program coordinator, tried to ease the tension over Celik’s words when he attributed it to typical youth reaction: “Celik could have been less forceful in his words; he is just much too young to realize the immediate implications of his words.”


Demiröz: It was just a request of its kindest kind


Handan Demiröz, a representative of the Democratic Circassian Platform, was forceful in her verbal reaction against Turkish blockage of Bagapsh’s trip: “Circassians have been living in this country [] over the past one and a half century. These people have been willing to sacrifice even their lives in service of the nation. It was very normal of us to invite Bagapsh over here. However, the Turkish Foreign Ministry did not allow him to come over here and see us. For this not to happen over again, we ought to have active involvement in politics from now on, which should not be taken to be an act of treason. We have to do more than teaching some Circassian to people.”


‘It’s pointless fighting the state organization’


Ata Kati, President of the United Federation of Caucasian Associations, was less forceful in his words: “We ought to be more tolerant. We ought to avoid things that can damage national integrity here. It is pointless fighting the state organization. Abkhazia announced its own independence on the basis of the right accorded to each nation to govern itself. Unison would solve a lot of problems.” The ruling Turkish government representative vows to help


Saban Disli, an AKP deputy, of Sakarya, was responsive and apologetic in his words: “Some things went wrong. I would be pleased to hear you say that Bagapsh’s trip was postponed, not cancelled. I will be doing my best to let the government officials as well as the President Abdullah Gül himself know what really happened. I suggest that we all go next week to Ankara, capital of , where we can address our questions duly. And be assured that you will be responded to.”


‘It was not nice to stop Bagapsh from taking his trip’


Cihan Candemir, President of KAF-FED, the Federation of Caucasian Associations, was more calling for attention to commonsense while he spoke: “The trip was not really postponed; it was prevented. It is our ownmost right to react. However, we need to moderate in our reactions. It is really not nice to stop Bagapsh from taking his trip without ever bothering to state the reason behind it. The Turkish Foreign Ministry is biased in its approach towards Abkhazians. And we condemn this. We just cannot accept this kind of unfairness. Aid to only works in further support of its aggressive policies. With receiving aid and positive assistance, the region is facing the increasing threat of a civil war. should be equal in its efforts to lift the embargo on and Abkhazia, both. As for us… We should be more positive in our enthusiasm. We need unity both in war and outside war.”


Nail Serbes, a member of the World Circassian Union, was optimistic in his words: “I think that what seems to us to be bad today will turn out to be good in the near future.”


Talih Hötüş and Soner Gogua, two members of the Abkhazian parliament, who moved from to Abkhazia; Lova Ayüdzba, another Abkhazian deputy; and Vladimir Ayüdzba, an Abkhazian representative in Turkey, all spoke in Abkhazian language.


‘Long live Turkish Republic, long live Abkhazia’


Irfan Argun, President of the Committee for Solidarity between Caucasians and Abkhazian, is the person who coordinated the process of Bagapsh’s cancelled trip, and was the last to speak. Argun was critical of the Turkish attitude towards Abkhazians, which was pioneered first in 1992 when the then Turkish president Süleyman Demirel refused to host the first Abkhazian President Vladislav Ardzinba.


“I will never forgive Mr. Demirel for his negative attitude towards Abkhazians. Georgians were strong in terms of lobbying then to affect the Turkish stance on Abkhazia since the war. Why was Bagapsh unable to come over here? The Turkish Foreign Ministry did not want it to happen. When he tried to come for the first time, he was much too ill to come here. And his plans of trip were always postponed. The Turkish Foreign Ministry told the Committee of Abkhazia to postpone his trip. We will follow the reasons behind the cancellation all through the end. We will find out the actual motive behind the Turkish interference in Bagapsh’s plans. We only want that Turkey should recognize Abkhazia in its full presence. It is not nice of Turkey to pay attention to Georgians only, with Abkhazians left aside completely. We still hope that things will get better. Hopefully, we will meet Bagash next time he comes here. And, we want you to unite just as you did right after the war ended. Long live the Turkish Republic, long live Abkhazia.”


Youths were not satisfied with the reactions


The Abkhazian youths expressed dissatisfaction with the overall level of reactions. Before the program ended, the Abkhazian youths asked for permission to speak further because they thought that the reaction against the cancellation of Bagapsh’s trip was not strong enough.


The quests from Abkhazia included Alek Logua, who advises Abkhazian President, Slavik Amichba, the Rostov Representative of the Abkhazian Republic, and the journalist Ludmila Chikipha.


10.22.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Shamba tries to ease tension over cancellation of trip to Turkey


Sukhum, “Turkish officials did not prevent Abkhazian President’s trip to their country,” Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba said in an effort to ease tension over cancellation of his superior President Sergei Bagapsh’s Turkish trip due to interference from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.


Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh’s trip was cancelled not because of pressure from the Turkish Foreign Ministry but because of the recently mounting political tension over a possible cross-border military operation on North Iraq in response to deadly attacks from the Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK, Shamba told the Kavkazki Uzel: “Nobody pressed him to cancel his trip. It would simply have been rude of us, Abkhazians, to mark a special day of our own in celebrations at a time when Turkish families mourned the loss of their sons.”


Shamba said that both administrations of Abkhazia and Turkey made a joint decision to cancel the trip, because it would not have been the case otherwise: “If the Turkish government had been against a trip by the Abkhazian administration to Turkey, no Turkish officials would have bothered to prepare for the visit.”


Shamba further accused anonymously those of trying to spoil the relations between Abkhazia and Turkey, a country where most members of the Abkhazian Diaspora are living.


Displeased with the official format of the visit, the Turkish Foreign Ministry officials directly contacted Shamba to have Sergei Bagapsh cancel his trip to Turkey.


10.20.2007  Agency Caucasus


 A joy to experience in Uzuncaorman without Bagapsh


Istanbul, The Caucasian Diaspora in Turkey is firmly resolved to conduct a series of activities in the Uzuncaorman village of the Hendek district of Sakarya, a north-western city of Turkey, despite the absence of Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh, who was scheduled to attend the activities there before his trip was cancelled.


Uzuncahamam will host on October 20 a group of representatives of the Abkhazian Diaspora from across Turkey. This group of representatives are expected to voice their reaction against interference from the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Bagapsh’s plans of trip to Turkey.


Meanwhile, the Committee of Solidarity between Caucasians and Abkhazians issued a call for a high turnout of participants in the village of Uzuncahamam. Participants will first meet at 11 am at the Akyazi tolls on the Istanbul-Ankara highway and then march towards Uzuncaorman at 12 am.


10.20.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Abkhazians and Georgians blame each other for killing guard


Sukhum, Contradicting statements come from both Abkhazian and Georgian officials to solve the mystery behind the killing of an Abkhazian border guard in a latest border clash the night before since September 20, when both Georgian and Abkhazian security forces were involved in a clash in the Abkhazian province of Tkuarchal.


The clash began when Georgian forces made an attempt to take control of Abkhazian checkpoints along the border, according to Laurens Kogoniya, chief Abkhazian police officer here. Kogoniya further said that the Abkhazian border guard died possibly after Georgians hospitalized him when he was wounded in the fighting.


A statement from Ruslan Kishmariya, special representative of Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh for Gal, blamed the Georgian administration for letting the regional stability get spoiled in such provocative circumstances.


The Georgian side has an entirely different story to account for the incident. Georgian security forces along the border tried to stop someone driving a stolen car from crossing the border, according to Shota Khizanishvili, a spokesman for Georgian Interior Ministry. Georgian security forces responded to an Abkhazian security officer when he fired at them while he was waiting on the Abkhazian side to get into the car. Georgian security officers shot him dead, and arrested the car driver. Georgian officials identified the Abkhazian security officer to be Manuchar Arshba.


The Georgian administration tried to have the international community believe that the September 20 fighting happened in Kodor—something that later turned out to be false when the United Nations officials reported that it happened in Tkuarchal.


10.19.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Caucasian Foundation protests refusal to let Bagapsh in Turkey


Istanbul, The Caucasian Foundation joined today members of the Abkhazian Diaspora of in their reaction against and criticism of action by the Turkish Foreign Ministry to block an official visit of Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh to the country.


Bagapsh intended his visit to cover a period of seven days in a bid to embrace welcome from Abkhazians in , a country that already hosts millions of Caucasian people.


İsmail Tunçbilek, Chair Person of the Caucasian Foundation, spoke about Vladislav Ardzinba, who was elected the first president of Abkhazia after it won its independence in 1992, because he was, like President Bagapsh, refused entry on his first trip abroad to the capital city Ankara of Turkey. “Abkhazia has once again been let down,” Tunçbilek said.


Tunçbilek expressed disappointment at decision by current officials not to take the chance and compensate for the serious mistake of a former Turkish government:


“The Turkish foreign ministry expressed refusal to meet with the Abkhazian president well before his trip was planned. This cannot be tolerated. It also hurt us sentimentally to know that Bagapsh was blocked in his attempts only to be here with the Abkhazian Diaspora. The Turkish foreign ministry seems to lose its chance to have a say in solving the question between Abkhazia and Georgia when it turned a blind eye to its own citizens of Caucasian descent. This also added weight to the claims that takes sides with the Georgian government at the expense of losing its impartiality. Besides, the Turkish government threw Abkhazia into isolation over again as a country that suffered years of blockage in its international trade after it was defeated in the 1992-1993 wars.


In short, Bagapsh was definitely not take his trip in a bid to throw into crisis or clash. He only wanted to see, contact, listen to and embrace the Abkhazians as they are unable to go back to their homeland due to years of embargoing. However, he was even stopped from doing so. In the end, it is a shame on the part of the Turkish government not to allow Bagapsh to take his trip to whereas the government seemingly supports efforts to earn a central role to play in its region.


As members of the Caucasian Foundation, we protest and find it difficult to tolerate a refusal of this kind to allow a peaceful leader of state to be in.


10.18.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Bagapsh’s trip gets cancelled


Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh had to cancel its trip to Turkey as he met with persistent objection from the Turkish Foreign Ministry not to do so.


Already displeased with news of the Abkhazian trip to Turkey, officials of the Turkish Foreign Ministry pressed Abkhazian officials in Sukhum, capital of Abkhazia, to cancel their plans of the trip that had been scheduled to October 17.


The Turkish officials were careful not to disturb Georgia with Bagapsh being allowed to meet with members of the Abkhazian Diaspora; therefore, the Turkish government tried first to alter the structure of the trip. Unable to do so, the government then sought cancellation of the trip.


Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba was contacted through the Turkish embassy in Tbilisi to cancel plans of the trip to Turkey between October 17 and 24.


10.17.2007  Agency Caucasus


 Georgia confronts anger over killing of Russian soldiers


Moscow, The government of Georgia has now to confront both harsh criticism and questioning from Russia over a military raid of Georgian troops on Abkhazians in the province of Tkuarchal that left two Russian soldiers dead.


The confrontation between Georgia and Russia results from a late official finding in a report by UNOMIG that the September 20 attack killed, apart from two Abkhazian soldiers, two Russian peace force members. The report said that two Russian soldiers were shot dead from a close distance. Experts are led by this finding to the conclusion that the soldiers were shot dead after they were injured.


UNOMIG is a sub-organization of the United Nations established in 1993 to observe compliance on both parts of Georgia and Abkhazia with the ceasefire.


The fighting led to the abduction of seven Abkhazian soldiers by Georgians.


‘Deliberate murder’


Russia accused in the wake of the report release Georgia of deliberate murder. “The report shows that murders were committed within the sites of Georgian Special Forces. This must be taken as a deliberate act of killing without the slightest mercifulness ever shown. The murderers must get the punishment that matches their offence,” an official statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry said.


Admitting that two Russian soldiers were killed, Georgian official tend to remain reticent until the report officially gets released.


The fighting occurred not in the region under Abkhazian control but in Upper Kodor, according to the Georgian administration. This way, Georgia sought to report to the international community an accusation against both Abkhazia and Russia of sabotaging the region.


However, the UNOMIG report put Abkhazia in the right. The report said that the fighting occurred at a military training camp in the Abkhazian province of Tkuarchal , some 300 meters inwards from the border, but definitely not in Kodor.


10.17.2007  Agency Caucasus


 UN adopts resolution about trouble between Abkhazia and Georgia


New York, The United Nations Security Council both adopted a draft bill in an encouraging move towards a peaceful solution of trouble between Abkhazia and Georgia over the territorial totality of Georgia and extended the term of duty of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia, or UNOMIG, for another six months until April 15, 2008.


UNOMIG was established in 1993 as an organization with 121 military and 12 civilian officials to guarantee compliance with the ceasefire agreement between Georgia and Abkhazia.


The draft bill received on Monday unanimous approval from all the 15 member countries of the UN Security Council. It said that the UN Security Council both backs efforts to solve peacefully the trouble between Abkhazia and Georgia and testifies respect for territorial integrity of Georgia in its independent sovereignty. With its concerns noted about the recently increasing armed incidents in and around Kodor, the UN Security Council expressed support for the Group of Friends in its efforts to guarantee security.


The bill had one-sided references from Tbilisi to a fight in September between Georgian troops and Abkhazian forces that led to the kidnapping of seven soldiers from Abkhazian soil. Tbilisi had it as its argument that Abkhazians were under the direction of Russian commanders when they entered the upper Kodor region.


10.17.2007  Agency Caucasus


 The Day of European Circassians get marked in celebrations


Brussels, European Circassians had for a second time a great annual celebration at the European Parliament (EP) of the Day of European Circassians.


Cem Özdemir, a German member of the Circassian origin of the EP for the Greens, worked together with some Circassian officials in Europe to organize the celebrations here, part of which was a great folk dancing.


The celebrations hosted welcome from a group of parliamentarians and employees of the EP, among whom was Joost Lagendijk, chair of the Joint Parliamentary Committee with.


Mr. Özdemir said in his speech here that although Circassians had to be scattered across different parts of the world after they were forced in exile out of their home countries, they tended to remain faithful to the host culture. This kind of celebrations to mark the Circassian Day at the EP would be held each year with a view towards introducing the culture of Circassians, who had to go through hardships for ages, Mr. Özdemir added. Representatives of the Circassian organizations in Europe gave in a ceremony an Adygean flag as a special gift to Luisa Morgantini, Deputy Speaker of the EP.


10.16.2007  Agency Caucasus


Abkhazia demands Georgia pull troops out of Kodor gorge


Sukhum, Abkhazia demands that Tbilisi withdraw its troops from Abkhazia's border, a spokesman for the Abkhazian president said on Tuesday.


"Georgia must withdraw its military units from the upper part of the Kodor gorge, together with its puppet administration," Kristian Bzhania said.


He said that in a recent resolution, the UN Security Council said it "shares Abkhazia's position, expressing serious concern over numerous violations of ceasefire and disengagement agreements."


On Monday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved an extension of the mandate for its monitors in Georgia by another six months, until April 15, 2008.


The UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) was established on August 24, 1993 by a UN Security Council resolution in order to monitor the ceasefire between Georgia and Abkhazia.


The province declared its independence from Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, sparking a bloody conflict in the region.


The UN Security Council also demanded that Georgia ensure the free movement of Russian peacekeepers in the region, noting their stabilizing role. Earlier, Georgia had demanded that Russian peacekeepers be withdrawn and replaced with an international contingent.


Mutual accusations of ceasefire violations have been frequent from both Abkhazia and Georgia, whose president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has vowed to regain control of Abkhazia.


The most recent peace talks broke off when Tbilisi sent troops into Kodor in July last year and established a parallel Abkhaz administration there.


According to Russia's Foreign Ministry, on September 20 this year a Georgian special forces unit crossed the border into Abkhazia and attacked servicemen at a military base belonging to the anti-terrorist center of the Abkhazian Interior Ministry.


Late last month, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh ordered the deployment of additional local forces to Abkhazia's border with Georgia.


10.16.2007  RIA Novosti


 Abkhazian President scheduled to take his Turkey trip


Istanbul, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh is set on October 17 to take his trip to Turkey in a fond embrace of the Abkhazian Diaspora here despite immense pressure from both Georgia and the Georgian lobbyists in Turkey not to do so.


Bagapsh is expected to arrive in Istanbul at around 4 pm this Wednesday. He will have with him Viacheslav Tsugba, a Former Prime Minister of Abkhazia; Irina Agirba, Deputy Parliament Speaker of Abkhazia; Kristina Ozgan, Minister of Economy; Maksim Gunjia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and a group of parliamentarians. Bagapsh will first meet with representatives of the Abkhazian Diaspora at the Caucasian Association for Abkhazian Culture.


Bagapsh will first hold a press conference on October 18 at the Sepetciler Kasri, a historical site of Istanbul, and then will meet with representatives of some large-scale companies at the Istanbul Commercial University.


On October 19, he will meet at the Caucasian Association for Abkhazian Culture with Abkhazian families of those who were killed in war, Abkhazian veterans, those who provided humanitarian aid during the Abkhazian war against Georgians, war correspondents, the Abkhazians who are married to a spouse from the Abkhazian Diaspora in Turkey, and the Abkhazian students studying in Turkish universities.


On October 20, Bagapsh will attend a series of special activities in the Uzuncaorman village of the Hendek district of Sakarya, a city in northeastern Turkey.


He is expected to meet with officials in Ankara, capital of Turkey, on October 21, when he will first visit the tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and then the Federation of Caucasian Associations, or KAF-FED.


On October 22, Bagapsh is expected to hold a press conference at the Swiss Hotel. He will then be hosted to attend a panel discussion on Abkhazia at the TOBB University of Economics and Technology. On the night of October 22, a large formal party with dancing will be given for Bagapsh at the Swiss Hotel.


Bagapsh will then meet with representatives of some think tanks and opinion leaders at a formal meting at the TOBB University. The Abkhazian president and other Abkhazia officials will leave Turkey on October 24.


10.16.2007  Agency Caucasus


 UN Security Council extends Georgian mission mandate by 6 months - 1


NEW YORK, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The UN Security Council unanimously approved an extension of the mandate for its observer mission in Georgia on Monday by another six months, until April 15, 2008.


The UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) was established on August 24, 1993 by a UN Security Council resolution in order to monitor a ceasefire between Georgia and Abkhazia.


Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, sparking a bloody conflict in the region.


The UN Security Council also demanded on Monday, in a unanimously-adopted resolution, that Georgia ensure the free movement of Russian peacekeepers in the region, noting their stabilizing role.


Earlier, Georgia had demanded that Russian peacekeepers be withdrawn and replaced with an international contingent.


Mutual accusations of ceasefire violations have been frequent from both Abkhazia and Georgia, whose President Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to regain control of Abkhazia.


The most recent peace talks broke off when Tbilisi sent troops into Kodor in July and established a parallel Abkhaz administration there.


Russia's envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin said on Monday that the UN has no doubts regarding the present format of talks on the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. The talks involve the participation of Russia and its peacekeeping contingent,


"Unfortunately, Georgia intends to block the negotiating process in this or that way, and then complains about its ineffectiveness. Such approaches do not find understanding in the UN," he added.


10.15.2007  RIA Novosti


 Leaders of Abkhazia, Dniester region, S Ossetia to meet in Sukhum

Sukhum, The leaders of Abkhazia, the Dniester region and South Ossetia will meet here in late October.


The leaders of these self-proclaimed republics in the CIS space united in the community “For Democracy and Rights of Peoples”. The events and meetings within the framework of the community will be held since October 30 to November 2, Abkhazia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Daur Kove told Itar-Tass on Friday.


In particular, a scientific conference will be held at the Abkhazian University. A declaration is expected to be signed to found an association of the higher educational establishments in Abkhazia, the Dniester region and South Ossetia.


The community “For Democracy and Rights of Peoples” was formed in summer 2006 in order to intensify cooperation between the self-proclaimed republics.


10.12.2007  Itar-Tass


 UN investigation discovers Georgia-Abkhazia shoot-out initiators?


Russia's envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, has reported to the Security Council that, according to the preliminary results of the UN investigation Georgia was responsible for a shoot-out on the border of its breakaway region of Abkhazia last month, which left two people dead.


The Russian envoy said he had drawn the attention of the Security Council to what he called “numerous occasions of violations”.


According to the UN investigation of the incident, Mr Churkin said, on September 20 Georgian Special Forces attacked a group of Abkhazians killing two of them and abducting seven.


”The investigation has not been completed but two things are completely clear and certain. Firstly, that the attack happened on the territory controlled by the Abkhazians, so the Georgian Special Forces had no business being there at all. Secondly, the two officers killed were shot at point blank. That makes it clearly a gang-style execution,” Mr Churkin said.


Ambassador Churkin is urging the UN to urgently conclude this investigation and fully punish the perpetrators. He's also calling for the captured Abkhazian guards to be immediately released.


Earlier the Georgian side denied any wrong doing in relation to the incident, claiming an Abkhazian group attacked Georgian guards who were protecting a road-building site in the Kodor Gorge.


Mr Churkin’s announcement was made after Thursday’s meeting, which was aimed at finalising the draft resolution that would extend the UN mission in Georgia for a year.


The UN observer mission in Georgia was established in 1993 to maintain stability in the conflict zone, help prevent escalating tension and facilitate dialogue between the Georgian and Abkhazian sides.


On Monday the resolution will be presented to the Security Council and voted on just as the old mandate expires.


10.12.2007  Russia Today


 Eugen Krammig to be one of those friends of Abkhazia who promote our interests in Europe - President


Sukhum, Head of State Sergei Bagapsh awarded the Order "Ahdz Apsha" third degree Honorary Consul of Abkhazia in Germany Eugen Krammig.


The President praised the contribution of Krammig in promoting the interests of Abkhazia in the European countries. "Krammig is one of the people, due to who Europe knows about our country, about our struggle for international recognition of the country," said Sergei Bagapsh.


10.09.2007  Abkhaziagov.org


 UN urges Georgia to respect Abkhazia cease-fire


A recent clash illustrates ongoing Georgian-Abkhaz tensions, says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The United Nations has warned Georgia that it must stick to its earlier agreements and not provoke Abkhazia. But Saakashvili answered by publicly announcing a "countdown" to war.


New York, A deadly clash last month between Georgia and Abkhazia underscores the need for both sides to abide by their agreements and to bring additional areas under international monitoring, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a new report.


Despite relative calm in recent months, the incident that occurred on 20 September is "the most serious incident involving the Georgian and Abkhaz sides in many years," Mr. Ban writes in his latest report on the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia.


He notes that the incident took place outside the area of responsibility of the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping force. Georgia attacked an Abkhazian border post and UNOMIG is now attempting to shed light on the bloodsoaked incident.


In light of this recent fatal clash, Mr. Ban recommends that areas between the zone of conflict and the Kodor Valley be put under international monitoring, with the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles and artillery radar.


At the same time, he stresses the need to "prevent the weakening of the ceasefire and separation of forces regime."


" - We will continue to insist on the obligation of both sides to keep their armed personnel clear from one another, observe the restrictions of the restricted-weapons zone and respect the agreed notification and verification procedures," the Secretary-General writes.


He adds that the continued suspension and absence of security dialogue between the Georgian and Abkhaz sides, UNOMIG and the CIS peacekeeping force can only compound recent negative developments, such as the "dangerous stand-offs" that have occurred during the reporting period between the Georgian side and the CIS force.


Abkhazia, on the other hand, is not provoking anyone and merely wants to go on with the business of rebuilding the war-torn country which has been 'de facto' independent of Georgia since 1993.


Georgia angry at the United Nations


In a July report, the office of the UN secretary-general recommended dismantling Georgia's so called "youth patriot camp" in Ganmukhuri, which the Georgian regime had deliberately placed less than a kilometer from Abkhazian territory on the other side of the demarcating Ingur River.


This caused Georgia's ruler to lash out at the United Nations. In early September, not long before leaving for New York to address the UN General Assembly, Georgian strongman Mikheil Saakashvili declared from the Ganmukhuri camp that his administration had no need for the “amoral and miserable advice” of “international bureaucrats.”


On Friday, Saakashvili publicly gave notice to Abkhazia that he is ready to start a new war over the territory which he believes is part of Georgia, despite the wish of the Abkhazians for independence.


" - As of today, we are beginning a countdown to our return to Abkhazia," warned Saakashvili in an October 5 speech in Zugdidi, just south of the 'de facto' border with Abkhazia.


While Georgia prepares for war, the United Nations is actively trying to force Georgia to respect the cease-fire agreement that it has signed. With the mandate of UNOMIG set to expire shortly, the Secretary-General recommends that it be extended for six months, as its presence continues to contribute to security in the conflict zone and international efforts to promote a peaceful settlement.


UNOMIG - currently comprising 133 military observers and 19 police officers - was established in August 1993 to verify compliance with the ceasefire agreement between the Georgia and Abkhazia. Its mandate was expanded following the signing by the parties of the 1994 Agreement on a Ceasefire and Separation of Forces. (With information from the United Nations)


10.09.2007  The Tiraspol Times


 Abkhaz Wine Imports May Resume


Russia may soon resume imports of wine from Abkhazia, chief epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko said Thursday, RIA-Novosti reported.


"Abkhazia made some 10 wines and one cognac available to us to conduct checks on," Onishchenko said at a news conference. "Abkhaz wine may soon appear in Russia."




 Abkhaz, S.Ossetian leaders to meet in Moscow for consultations


Moscow, The presidents of the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Sergei Bagapsh and Eduard Kokoity, will meet in Moscow on Friday to discuss the situation in Georgia and in the conflict zones.


"Kokoity and I will meet for consultations today. We must coordinate our moves, given the growing tensions in Georgia and the latest attempts to further stoke the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian- Ossetian conflicts," Bagapsh told Interfax.


10.05.2007  Interfax