Refugee return problem within Georgia-Abkhazia settlement discussed in Moscow

The Russian president's special envoy for the Georgian-Abkhaz settlement, first deputy foreign minister of Russia Valery Loshchinin and the Georgian president's special envoy at Georgian-Abkhaz talks, leader of Adzharia Aslan Abashidze discussed the problem of refugees' secure return to the places of their former residence.

The information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that participants in the meeting held in Moscow September 9th advocated taking efficient measures to reach mutual understanding and continue full-scale political settlement between Tbilisi and Sukhumi.

In this connection, the sides noted an urgent need of strict and conscientious fulfilment of all agreements available, first of all the Agreement on Ceasefire of 1994.

The Foreign Ministry indicated that the problem of refugees' secure return to places of their former residence was considered among the priority issues. The participants in the meeting agreed that the agreements fixed in the Yalta statement of the Georgian and Abkhaz sides of March 16, 2001 should be laid in the basis of practical steps to be made in this respect. Parallel efforts in the economic sphere could become an efficient measure of restoration of trust and merging political stances of the sides in this issue, the ministry noted.

The Adzharian leader noted the need to step up work for implementation of proposals developed at the previous meeting. This relates, in particular, to the lifting of economic blockade, which implies restoration of railway, air, marine and motorway movement through the territory of Abkhazia, modernisation of the Inguri hydro-electric power plant, and restoration of available and construction of new energy communications. "Without this it is impossible to consolidate trust, improve socio-economic state of population of Abkhazia and adjacent regions as well as refugees, and achieve real results in the conflict settlement," the Russian Foreign Ministry concluded.

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