Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh said Sokhumi could not consider the settlement plan developed by Germany in the frames of the UN Secretary General’s Group of Friends on Georgia.
Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported that Bagapsh told EU special representative Peter Semneby in Sokhumi on July 14 that he had read the plan, “but we can not consider it such as it was presented today.”
Earlier on July 14 the Abkhaz leader met with Hans-Dieter Lukas, special envoy of the German Foreign Ministry for Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus, who briefed the Abkhaz side about the plan.
The plan is not public, but Der Spiegel reported last week that the German-proposed three-stage plan would envisage a year of trust-building measures, involving the signing of a treaty on the non-use of force and the beginning of the return of internally displaced persons in phase one. The second phase, the following year, would see the beginning of reconstruction work, with Berlin organizing a donors' fundraising conference, and the third would involve defining Abkhazia’s political status.
“We are not going to discuss Abkhazia’s status with anyone,” Bagapsh said. “We are building an independent, democratic state.”
Bagapsh said that Sokhumi would only resume talks with Tbilisi if it signed a treaty on non-use of force and withdrew its troops from upper Kodori Gorge – two terms also put forth by Moscow as a precondition for resumption of a comprehensive peace process.
The Group of Friends includes France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia and the U.S. Russia did not take part in the development of the plan and it still has not publicly made its position know on the plan.