Shevardnadze Urges Direct Georgian Abkhazian Talks

TBILISI (Armenpress)–"I am confident that direct dialogue between Georgia and Abkhazia could–or maybe should–become an imperative in resolving the conflict between the two peoples–said Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze during a radio interview.

"There is no other way. Another route is war–and everyone knows that could lead to severe consequences on the two," continued the Georgian leader.

Shevardnadze added that Georgians and Abkhazians together should consider means in the next phase of conflict resolution and should come up with new approaches in that process.

"The Georgian government and president are prepared to continue positive cooperation with the Abkhazian side," commented Shevardnadze–adding that talks should–and must take place in Sukhumi–the Abkhazian capital–and Tbilisi.

The Gerogian leader stated that in order to ensure peace and stability in Abkhazia–means must be implemented to guarantee the safe return of refugees back to Abkhazia.

"If the Abkhazian side demonstrates good will in this respect–and the process of returning refugees to the region is conducted according to the Geneva accords–then the Georgian side would be compelled–and both sides could reach a final resolution to the conflict–one which would be beneficial for both sides," concluded Shevardnadze.

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