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Diplomatic Efforts Underway to Change Peacekeeping Format – Minister
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 May.'08 / 15:33

Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, said on May 28 that Tbilisi would never tolerate losing of Abkhazia and would even “go into war” if necessary. He, however, said diplomatic efforts were the priority for Tbilisi to resolve the problem.

“We will never tolerate it [losing Abkhazia],” Iakobashvili said while speaking at the Tbilisi-based FM radio station, Imedi. “We will even go into war if needed.”

He said that Tbilisi was currently considering and employing only diplomatic means. “And we are using these diplomatic means with success,” Iakobashvili added. “The UN [General Assembly] resolution was a huge success in this regard.”

He also said that Tbilisi was proposing change of the current Russian-led military peacekeeping operation in the Abkhaz conflict zone with the international-led police operation.

“It should be a joint Georgian and Abkhaz police force, which will be trained and managed from certain period of time by international police force,” he said. “This international police force should involve, as we see it, mainly the European states and I want to stress here that we consider Russia as European state as well. The most desired format would be if this operation is carried out under the aegis of OSCE.”

Iakobashvili also said that Tbilisi would not sign binding treaty on non-use of force unless the process of return of internally displaced persons and refuges was not launched in Abkhazia.

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