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Separatist leader's visit to Turkey not official

Monday, April 11
On April 7, the Turkish Foreign Minister released a special statement regarding Sergey Bagapsh's visit to Turkey:

“Turkey attaches the utmost importance to her strategic partnership with Georgia based on traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation in all fields.

Turkey perfectly shares the sensitivity of Georgia concerning her territorial integrity. In that respect, Turkey respects and supports the territorial integrity of Georgia within her internationally recognized borders, a policy that remains a fundamental position.

The visit of Mr. Sergey Bagapsh to Turkey will take place purely on medical grounds upon the invitation by the civil society associations founded by Turkish citizens under their sole responsibility. The visit has by no means an official character.

Turkey reconfirms its commitment to deepening the strategic relations between Turkey and Georgia to the benefit of our peoples and the region at large.”

Meanwhile on April 7 official web page of so called president of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia released an announcement saying that “the President of Abkhazia left for the Turkish Republic on a four-day visit.”

According to their information a number of business meetings in the Turkish capital in which the issues of developing bilateral business cooperation would be discussed had been scheduled.

The main part of the visit will be held in Istanbul and other regions where Abkhaz and Circassian Diasporas are residing.

On the eve of the visit, Sergey Bagapsh addressed the compatriots through Turkish mass-media and announced his intention to visit Turkey. In his address, Sergey Bagapsh expressed gratitude to the Turkish state which had become the second Motherland for a huge part of the divided Abkhaz nation.