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Abkhaz FM: No Direct Meeting held with Georgian Negotiators
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Oct.'08 / 17:38

Officials from breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia told journalists in Geneva that there had been no direct meeting between them and Georgian negotiators on October 15.

Sergey Shamba, the foreign minister of breakaway Abkhazia, said after he came out from the UN building in Geneva that two separate sessions had been held.

“The Georgian side participated in one and we participated in the other,” Shamba said in comments aired on the Georgian Imedi television station's 5pm news bulletin.

When asked why there had been no face to face meeting with the Georgia side, Shamba responded: “The status does not satisfy us; that is why there was no further meeting… We will participate only as equal participants of the process. The Georgian side was against that and that is why no [meeting] has been held.”

He then added that “many issues remain to be agreed.” “If we agree, the process will proceed, but if we fail, [the process] will end,” Shamba said.

Shamba was reluctant to reveal more, even telling journalists with a smile: “You are dragging words out of me.”

Boris Chochiev, the acting prime minister of breakaway South Ossetia, told journalists that he had not met the Georgian delegation. “We have not even seen them,” he added.

Organizers of the event threw a news blackout around the talks and even prevented photographers from taking photos of the delegations as they entered the UN building. “It is a decision of all the parties,” Reuters quoted a U.N. spokeswoman as saying.

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