In an information note issued on December 16, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the UN-sponsored talks on the Georgian-Abkhazian peace process as “an important effort to activate conflict resolution exclusively through peaceful means.”
The two-day UN-led talks were held in Geneva on December 13 with the participation of UN Secretary General’s Group of Friends for Georgia, including France, Germany, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States; however neither a Georgian nor an Abkhaz delegation participated in the talks.
The Abkhaz side refused to participate in the talks because of current political turbulence that still persists in the breakaway region, following nearly three months of turmoil that ensued after a disputed presidential election took place on October 3.
“The recent political developments in the unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia and the further prospects of settlement of the Abkhaz conflict were discussed at the talks. The participants stated that the most important thing is to strengthen trust between the conflicting sides and provide security guarantees for the return of internally displaced persons,” the information note reads.
The Russian side was represented at the talks by First Deputy Foreign Minister Valerie Loshchinin. Loshchinin said on December 13 that the next meeting, in frames of UN-led peace process, will be held in March, 2005 and will include the participation of the Georgian and Abkhaz sides.