Uncertainty In The Position Of Cis Peacekeepers In The Abkhazian Conflict Zone Remains

The uncertainty in the position of the peacekeepers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) remains in the zone of the Abkhazian conflict (Abkhazia is a self-proclaimed republic in the territory of Georgia). Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze believes that their withdrawal is contra-indicated but, on the other hand, he does not prolong the mandate of the peacekeepers. At a briefing on Monday, Eduard Shevardnadze said that he had "not yet signed a decree on prolonging the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping forces in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict." But he did not say whether he intended to sign this document. What he said was that "consultations on this score continue." After the Georgian parliament adopted a resolution on the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers, much has changed, he added. And at the given stage the withdrawal of the peacekeepers is contra-indicated." According to Shevardnadze, at the present time the possibility of expanding the format of the peacekeeping operation is being considered.

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