17 Jan 2020 19:55

Abkhazia preconditions normalization with Georgia on signing document on non-use of force

SUKHUM. Jan 17 (Interfax) - Abkhazia's Foreign Ministry has set forth terms which should pave the way for normalization with Georgia.

"The process of normalizing relations between the two states and discussing forms of dialogue between Sukhum and Tbilisi will only be possible after the two sides have signed a legally binding document not to use military force against one another," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement was issued after local politicians told Georgian media of the need to begin dialogue.

The ministry is in favor "of the possibility of resuming the bilateral negotiation format involving discussion of Abkhazia's de-isolation, regional security, ecology, and other issues directly related to the topic of humanitarian cooperation."

"The topic of the political status of the state of Abkhazia, based on an expression of will by the people of Abkhazia and enshrined in our country's constitution, is non-negotiable," the statement said.

Between 1994 and 2008, Abkhazia began negotiations with Georgia under the UN aegis and mediated by Russia and several other nations.

"In this negotiating format, Abkhazia acted as a party to the conflict, and this favorably reflected on attainment of certain politico-diplomatic results," the statement said.

The ministry confirmed that it considers "dialogue in the framework of the Geneva discussions useful" and called "for its continuation."