Commenting on Russia-proposed draft of new treaty with Abkhazia on “alliance and integration”, specifically on its military component, U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland said that it’s “a little hard to imagine more integration than there already is.”
“There is really no Abkhaz military to speak of. And so I think for us this raises more questions than answers,” he told journalists in Kutaisi on October 15.
“The United States’ position has and continues to be that we support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the U.S. ambassador said. “We support the Geneva international discussions which had their latest round just last week in Geneva, which are aimed at trying to resolve this issue in a way that is acceptable and peaceful to all concerned. The talks that were held last week were held in a constructive atmosphere.”
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaliani, met on October 15 with U.S. embassy deputy chief of mission, Nicholas Berliner. According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, among other issues, Russia-proposed new treaty with breakaway Abkhazia was also discussed.
“Importance of active international engagement was noted in order to prevent escalation of situation on the occupied territory and to contribute to strengthening of security and stability in the region,” said the Georgian Foreign Ministry, which in a separate statement earlier on October 15 condemned Moscow-proposed draft of agreement as a “step towards annexation” of Abkhazia.