US seeks to settle Abkhazia problem?

The US administration really seeks to settle the problem of Abkhazia (republic that disintegrated from Georgia de facto in the early 1990s after a slaughterous conflict with Tbilisi) and is looking into a possibility of getting involved in the settlement process, President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia said at a news briefing on Monday.

The president said he had forwarded a letter to his American counterpart, George Bush, two weeks ago requesting him to step up involvement in the Abkhaz settlement. The problem dominated the agenda of a recent visit to the United States by Tedo Dzhaparidze, Georgia's National Security Council Secretary. Mr Dzhaparidze held discussions with Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser to the US Secretary of State.

The US intends to offer its viewing of the problem, said President Shevardnadze. He did not rule out that the US may join settlement efforts with Russia.

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