Georgian Ambassador to Russia Zurab Abashidze is satisfied with the progress of talks between Georgia and Russia over the return of refugees to Abkhazia. The ambassador made this announcement last night on Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2, thus denying reports in the Georgian media that the talks had been unsuccessful.
Talks between Georgian and Russian working groups on the return of refugees to Abkhazia ended yesterday in Moscow. The talks were attended by UN experts. Russia and the UN put forward a proposal for the safe return of refugees to the Gali region of Abkhazia. The Georgian ambassador also announced that the trilateral meeting examined the possibility of setting up a joint administration in the Gali region under UN supervision. In other words, Georgia is prepared to hand over jurisdiction to the UN on a temporary basis.
Abashidze also said that it would be wrong to expect any instant practical results from the talks. He explained that it was a complicated and laborious process for which even the UN did not have a ready solution that would be acceptable to Georgia. First and foremost, the parties need to examine international experience of returning refugees safely.