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Tbilisi denounces so-called protocol between breakaway Abkhazia and Italy

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, May 5
The Georgian government says that the so-called protocol signed by the de facto Mayor of occupied Sokhumi (Abkhazia) and one of the cities of Italy several days ago is illegitimate and has no connection to Italy’s recognition of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial Integrity.

The statement was made on Thursday by the Foreign Minister of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze.

The minister believes that these are attempts to disseminate certain information as if some contacts were made and some agreements were signed between breakaway Abkhazia and Italy.

“Any activity that may be carried out through certain informal channels is invalid and illegitimate,” he said.

Janelidze added that Georgia has active communication with the Italy sand they support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Any agreement or memorandum is invalid in accordance with Italian law if it is not in compliance with the central government's policy,” he stated.

Janelidze underlined that nothing can harm the existing relations between Georgia and Italy.

Georgia’s Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, also commented on the issue.

She said that in this case, private contacts were presented by the Abkhazian side as if they were official ones.

“Italy’s position towards Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering, and it is clearly underlined in all the actions and statements of the Italian government,” the minister stressed.

Several days ago, Abkhazian state news agency Apsnypress released information which claimed that that the so-called Mayor of Sokhumi had signed a memorandum with one of the cities of Italy.

The head of the Administration of Sukhumi, Adgur Kharaziya, stated that the signing of the protocol of intentions with the Italian city was the first such agreement with a European city since the end of the Second World War.

“This agreement is important not only for Sukhumi, but for the whole of Abkhazia. Also, negotiations are being held with three other European cities to sign such agreements. I should note that the representatives of the Italian side expressed a desire to cooperate with Abkhazia in the field of economic development,” Kharaziya said at a press conference.

Moreover, the news agency reports that the regional office of the Italian Agriculture Confederation (CIA) hosted the inauguration of the so called Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Abkhazia in Italy, which was registered this year.

“Such events can become the basis for mutually beneficial cooperation between Abkhazia and Italy,” said the so-called Deputy Foreign Minister of Abkhazia, Kan Taniya.