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MFA denies opposition leader’s claims over de-facto region’s recognition

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, August 31
Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Mikheil Janelidze, has denied a statement of the leader of the National Forum opposition party, Gubaz Sanikidze, in which the latter claimed that he personally disrupted the attempt of some Arabic countries to recognize Georgia’s de-facto region of Abkhazia as an independent republic.

Sanikidze, who represented the current ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition since 2012 up to upcoming October 8 Parliamentary elections, has told Rustavi 2 TV channel that he was “personally informed” over the alleged recognition of de-facto Abkhazia.

“I had information some of the Arabic countries were going to recognize the independence of Abkhazia. I knew if our Foreign Ministry knew that, it would do nothing to suspend the action. That is why I settled the problem myself,” stated Sanikidze.

Sanikidze stressed his party always served the state interests and would continue to do so.

In response, Foreign Minister Janelidze said “no such incident took place.”

“Our Ministry works on the non-recognition policy very hard. In 2013 – 2014 two countries which had recognized Abkhazia breakaway region’s independence reversed their decisions,” Janelidze said.

Minister stated that if someone had any information over such a development, he should have informed the Ministry.

“However, I am sure that some politicians are just making false statements in order to attract voters ahead of the elections,” Janelidze said.

Russia and Nicaragua recognised Abkhazia’s and Tskhinvali’s (South Ossetia) independence in 2008 in the wake of the Russia-Georgia war.

In 2009, Venezuela, Vanuatu, Nauru and Tuvalu took the same step.

After several years Vanuatu and Tuvalu reversed their recognition and now recognise Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as integral parts of Georgia.

The current ruling power was established by ex-Prime Minister, billionaire, Bidzina Ivanishvili, prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections with the aim to defeat the nine-year rule of the United National Movement.

The coalition split for the upcoming elections, although the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party and the Conservatives agreed to cooperate, while the National Forum, the Republicans and the Industrials will run separately.