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De-facto Abkhazian media speculates on opening EU office in Sokhumi

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, February 5
The de-facto Abkhazian media has released information that the European Union plans to open an office in Sokhumi. As Apsni press reports, EU representative Herbert Salber and Abkhazia’s de-facto President Raul Khajimba had a conversation concerning the subject.

Abkhazian media also reports that Herbert Salber visited the towns of Gali, Gagra and Bichvinta and expressed his interest in continuing EU projects in Gali.

“We need the interest from Europe, as Abkhazia is an independent state,” Khajimba said.

In his interview, Salber stated that the EU really revealed its interest in terms of carrying our various economic projects in the region, especially in Gali, to support small and medium-sized businesses.

Responding to the information, Georgia’s Foreign Ministry emphasized that no such office will be opened in Abkhazia without Georgia’s consent.

“The information spread by Abkhazian media is false,” the ministry states.

“It needs to be stressed that the EU steadily supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Therefore, no EU office will be opened in Abkhazia without Georgia’s consent.

“Of course, state interests will also be taken into account. As for the implementation of various projects, they should provide the local population with assistance and satisfy their humanitarian needs,” the ministry statement reads.

Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Davit Bakradze says that the Georgian side will receive the full information concerning the meeting topics from the EU representative in the coming days.

Former Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaniani stated that Georgia’s Foreign Ministry should have been informed concerning the meeting issues beforehand.

“The ministry made the statement after several hours, there is such an impression that the meeting details had not been agreed to. In such a situation the ministry should demand an explanation from the EU representation,” Zalkaniani said.