Final decision on detained Turkish captain of a cargo vessel seized by the Georgian coast guard last month, will be made on September 8 after visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meets with President Saakashvili, Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, said.
“I and my colleague discussed this issue and I think we have found the solution, which would satisfy everyone. We will be ready to give more details after [the Turkish Foreign Minister] meets with the Georgian President,” Vashadze said at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart in Tbilisi.
“We have very useful conversation on the matter and it will be also discussed when I meet with President Saakashvili tomorrow,” Foreign Minister Davutoglu said.
He also said that the two countries should cooperate to prevent reoccurrence of similar situation.
The Turkish Foreign Minister pays official visit to Georgia on September 7-8. Before arriving in Tbilisi, Davutoglu said, according to the Reuters report, that Georgia agreed to release the captain of the Turkish vessel in exchange of USD 18,000 fine.
The Georgian court found the captain, Mehmet Coskun Öztürk, guilty of smuggling and unauthorized economic activity in breakaway Abkhazia and sentenced him to 24 years in prison.
Other 16 crew members of the vessel, which was denied while transporting fuel to Abkhazia, were fined and released. Twelve of them are Turkish citizens and four from Azerbaijan.