Georgia slams Belarusian president’s visit to breakaway region of Abkhazia

    REGION  29 September 2022 - 17:10

    The Georgian president has slammed Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s visit to its breakaway region of Abkhazia.

    “I strongly condemn Aleksandr Lukashenko’s visit to occupied Abkhazia. This is an unacceptable violation of Georgia’s Law on Occupied Territories and of the principles of our bilateral relations and international law,” President Salome Zourabichvili wrote on Twitter on September 28.

    In addition, Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilia Darchiashvili called Lukashenko's visit to occupied Abkhazia an "illegal act".

    "President Lukashenko’s arrival in Bichvinta in occupied Abkhazia/Georgia in violation of Georgia’s Law on occupied territories is unacceptable. We strongly condemn this unlawful action. Fundamental principles of international law must be followed," Darchiashvili said according to Interpress News.

    The ministry demanded that Belarus respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally-recognized borders and not take actions that contradict the fundamental principles of international law.

    On September 28, the Ambassador of Belarus to Georgia was summoned to the Georgian Foreign Ministry due to Lukashenko's arrival in Abkhazia. The Georgian side expressed "extreme concern" over the above and demanded additional explanations from the Belarusian side.

    Lukashenko said in a meeting with the so-called president of Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania that "yesterday [September 27], we discussed the problems of Abkhazia with our elder brother Vladimir Putin. We were discussing these issues till late night and we came to the conclusion that Abkhazia cannot be abandoned. It needs help so that this prosperous land and the people who live here can live normally," Interpress News reported citing Bzhania’s press service.

    For his turn, Bzhania said that relations between Abkhazia and Belarus are gaining new momentum. "The fact of the arrival of the head of the Republic of Belarus in Abkhazia means a lot: our relations at the current stage are gaining a new character, our relations have been given a new impetus. I hope that step by step we will come to recognition. I don't want to talk about this in advance, but the first brick of this big house has already been laid, it's a fact. I am satisfied with the meeting," Bzhania said.

    Bzhania added that economic issues were mainly discussed at the meeting and expressed his belief that "inter-state" relations will develop dynamically.

    Lukashenko is visiting Russian-controlled Abkhazia for the first time.

    A 13-month conflict erupted in August 1992 between the Georgian army and Abkhazian separatists supported by Russia. In 2008, a five-day conflict referred to as the South Ossetia conflict broke out between Georgia and Russia concerning the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    Tbilisi ultimately lost control of the areas and Russia later recognized them as independent states. Georgia cut off diplomatic relations with Russia in response, after which Switzerland took up the role of a mediator country. Both regions remain internationally recognized Georgian territories.

    Caliber.Az

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