RIA Novosti – “S. Ossetia, Abkhazia to seek sovereignty under international law”

http://en.rian.ru/world/20080814/116045677.html

S. Ossetia, Abkhazia to seek sovereignty under international law

RIA Novosti | August 14, 2008

South Ossetia and Abkhazia will seek independence from Tbilisi under international law, the leaders of Georgia’s two rebel regions said Thursday at a joint news conference in Moscow.

South Ossetia’s Eduard Kokoity said Georgia’s attack on August 8 made it possible for the two separatist provinces to seek further international recognition.

“Despite the severe blow to our nation, South Ossetians’ will and striving for independence remains unchanged,” he said. “We will seek independence in strict compliance with international law.”

His pledge was echoed by Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh: “As to our independence, as to our progress toward this goal, no force will make us stop. The goal has been set, and we will advance toward this goal together.”

Bagapsh said both breakaway provinces ruled out the possibility of talks with Georgia on their status.

“There was a little possibility of establishing dialogue before the aggression in South Ossetia, through mediators, through the [UN] secretary general, and politicians visited, [now] there will be no dialogues, no talks with Georgia,” Bagapsh said.

The Abkhazian leader added: “Georgia has hammered a huge rusty nail into its integrity.”

Kokoity agreed, saying the two Georgian rebel provinces had more grounds for recognition as independent states than Kosovo.

Kosovo proclaimed unilateral sovereignty from Serbia on February 17, and has been recognized by Washington and most European countries.

South Ossetia’s leader also urged Europe to recognize the independence of his nation and Abkhazia as soon as possible so that stability could be established in the Caucasus.

Kokoity and Bagapsh signed a peace plan in Moscow at a meeting with the Russian president earlier Thursday. The French-brokered peace agreement, which requires an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of forces, was agreed by Russia and Georgia on Tuesday.

Fighting erupted last week in the volatile South Caucasus region when Georgian forces launched an attack on Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia. In response Russia launched a counter offensive to expel Georgian troops from the region and to reinforce Russian peacekeepers.

The Abkhazian and South Ossetian foreign ministers are expected to arrive in Moscow on Friday to discuss the future status of the two separatist regions.

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Published in: on August 16, 2008 at 12:16 PM  Leave a Comment  

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