Sukhumi worried about Georgian armed forces' increased activity in Kodori

The movements of the Georgian armed forces in the upper part of the Kodori Gorge are arousing serious concern in Sukhumi, head of the Abkhazian foreign ministry's press service Alexander Studenikin said Tuesday.

In his words, "Sukhumi has information about recent repeated movements of Georgian helicopters, including American-made air vessels of the Iroquois type in the upper part of the Kodori Gorge.

These helicopters bring certain armed groups, which is a direct violation of all the fundamental agreements between the conflicting sides, banning the presence of any Georgian armed units in the upper part of the Kodori Gorge, the Abkhazian foreign ministry reported.

In all, Sukhumi representatives say, during the recent flights Georgian Iroquois could have landed armed groups equal to a company in number.

"On Abkhazia's initiative, this issue was considered at a meeting between Abkhazian Prime Minister Anri Dzhergeniya and Georgia's State Minister Avtandil Dzhorbenadze in the Chuburkhindzhi settlement, the Galsky district of Abkhazia, on August 4th, said Studenikin. During the meeting, he remarked, the Georgian representative virtually admitted that Georgia had flown helicopters in the upper Kodori Gorge, adding that they were airlifting border troops.

At the same meeting, Studenikin said "the Abkhazian side raised the issue of the need to set up surveillance peace-keeping posts with the participation of UN military observers in the upper part of the Kodori Gorge." This, Sukhumi representatives say, will make it possible to monitor the situation in the area. "However, Georgia has once again turned down this offer," said the head of the Abkhazian press service.

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