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Dialogue in Gali: constructiveness not lost2009-07-29 23:30
On July 28 Gali town (Abkhazia) welcomed the pentalateral meeting on prevention and investigation of incidents on Georgian-Abkhazian border. Sukhum and Tbilisi mediated by Russia, the EU and UN discussed humanitarian issues in the region arriving at certain results.
Number one issue at the Gali talks was the story of Abkhaz citizen David Sigua who's been missing since 2006. Sukhum asserts he was abducted by the Georgian special services that is why the Abkhazians called on Georgian representatives to present all information they had on Sigua. However Shota Utiashvili, Interior Ministry Information and Analytical department chief heading the delegation from Tbilisi said he knew nothing about Sigua promising to report on the findings, ITAR-TASS informs.
The Georgian side in return spoke about detention of two passenger buses going to Zugdidi through the Abkhaz-Georgian border on July 22. Sukhum's arguments sounded convincing - President's Plenipotentiary in Gali district Ruslan Kishmaria reasonably noticed that the buses were going to cross the border outside the authorized checkpoint, and the passengers had no IDs, Apsnypress IA reports.
The notorious incident was plainly explained by Abkhaz FM Sergey Shamba. "The border between Abkhazia and Georgia is not closed, - Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes. - Certain rules must be observed in order to cross it on the way to Georgia, i.e. preliminary notice to the district's administration and obtainment of permits that have never been denied yet". According to Shamba the people of Georgia must realize that the new republic cares about its security and these measures are needed to prevent possible terrorist attacks and other subversions.
An important result of the meeting in Gali was unanimous decision of negotiators to create a mechanism that would allow Gali and Zugdidi district residents to cross the Georgian-Abkhazian border. Negotiators also exchanged cell phone numbers.
"This is a kind of hot line, - Gazeta quotes Deputy Foreign Minister of Abkhazia Maxim Gvinjia. - Now we can promptly inform each other on various incidents. According to Gvinjia the meeting was constructive in spite of the tension around it.
As for the impressions of Tbilisi representatives in follow-up of the negotiations Shota Utiashvili said the specific issues had been raised and the results of the next meeting would depend on how the promises given at the second round would be fulfilled.