Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Maxim Gunjia met with UNHCR delegation

SUKHUM, September 29 -- On September 29, 2010 Maxim Gunjia received the UNHCR delegation led by Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees Janet Lim.

At the beginning of the meeting Janet Lim thanked the Minister for the meeting and outlined the purpose of her visit, which is to monitor projects implemented by UNHCR. The Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees stressed the importance of close cooperation with the authorities of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Maxim Gunjia, in turn, noted the high level of understanding that exists between the UNHCR and the government. The Minister spoke about the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Armenia and international organizations, which promotes more effective cooperation between the parties. With regard to projects implemented by UNHCR, the Minister stressed that the people involved in these projects should be given opportunity to develop their business and earn money. Noting the particular importance of agricultural projects for our republic, Maxim Gunjia spoke about the existing successful projects, and prospects for the industry.

Janet Lim and Maxim Gunjia concurred on the need for continued dialogue within the framework of the Geneva talks and the five-party Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM).

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Assistant High Commissioner for Refugees thanked the Minister for constructive discussion and assured that his comments and suggestions will be considered in future work of UNHCR in the region.

Source: MFA Abkhazia

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

MPs elected hero of Abkhazia Sergey Matosyan as vice-speaker of parliament

SUKHUM, September 27 -- MPs elected Sergey Matosyan as vice-speaker of the People's Assembly.

The vice-speaker was elected by secrete vote. 22 out of 24 deputies voted in favour of Sergey Matosyan.

Sergey Matosyan was born in 1952. A Colonel. A Hero of Abkhazia. He commanded 3 battalions during the 1992-1993 Patriotic War of the Abkhaz Nation.

In 1994 he participated in the Lat operation in the Kodor valley where he headed Marshal I. Bagramyan battalion. Then he headed the Border Guard Detachment of the RA State Security Council.

From 1996 to 2000 he was a People's Assembly – the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia deputy, from 2000 to 2005 he worked as HR Department Chief in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 2007 he was again elected People's Assembly deputy.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Working With Iron And Fire - A Blacksmith's Life: Vladimir Khutaba

Somewhere in Abkhazia there live and work two talented blacksmiths - a father and a son, Vladimir and Daur Khutaba. They proved another time that blacksmiths are interesting and even mysterious people.

Vladimir Khutaba has been standing at an anvil since 1954. Now he is 77 and most of the work is done by his son Daur. They showed us how they make a thing that will remain in the family for the long years and will be considered to be sacred - a chain that will be used to hang a kettle on over a hearth.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Abkhazia for new mechanisms and formats for refugees return

SUKHUM, September 14 (Itar-Tass) -- The Abkhazian Foreign Ministry is interested in a wise and balanced solution of the problem of refugees and displaced persons’ return, says the address of the republic’s Foreign Ministry issued on Tuesday in connection with the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on refugees.

The Foreign Ministry regards the resolution as “distorting reality” and “doing nothing to promote progress in solving problems of refugees.” “Taking into account the new realities, the Abkhazian side believes it is necessary to create new mechanisms and adopt new formats for the procedure of refugees return to the independent state, the Republic of Abkhazia,” says the address.

The Foreign Ministry notes that “the Republic of Abkhazia, the victim of Georgia’s aggression, is interested more than others in the establishment of durable and stable peace in the region.” The ministry recalls that “it was precisely Georgia that violated more than once all the agreements on non-use of force” and “continues groundlessly to refuse from signing the document on non-resumption of military operations, which bespeaks of its aggressive intentions.

“The Georgian authorities also refuse from preliminary coordination of conditions for refugees’ return and registration,” says the address.

“Although the problem of refugees is the subject of the talks in the framework of the Geneva debates, the Georgian leadership tries to keep Abkhazia out of the discussion of the matter,” the document says. “As a result Abkhazia has not been invited a single time to the consultations and not participated in the discussion even at the preliminary stages,” says the address.

The Foreign Ministry says “it is impossible for all refugees to return to Abkhazia, as many of them are war criminals who participated in the genocide of the Abkhazian people during the Georgian-Abkhazian war of 1992-1993.” Therefore the Abkhazian side insists on “the establishment of a real number of people who wish, are ready and, the main thing, have the right to return to Abkhazia, since persons who are war criminals are excluded from international protection granted to refugees.”

The Abkhazian side “calls on representatives of UN member countries to promote the adoption of a balanced decision and enable Abkhazia’s representatives to declare their substantiated viewpoint on the problem,” says the address.

Source: Itar-Tass


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Abkhazia might agree to UN Observers deployment in its territory

SUKHUM, Abkhazia -- The Abkhaz authorities intend to propose a new draft agreement on the non-use of force at the next round of Geneva discussions, the President's envoy to the international discussions in Geneva Vyacheslav Chirikba declared Tuesday. He said that “in all there are four drafts - Russian, Abkhaz, South Ossetian and Georgian”. The Abkhaz variant of the agreement, as he said, “consists of two basic statutes - declaration on the non-use of force, and guarantees of maintaining a peacful situation in the region”.

Chirikba does not rule out that “as one of the elements of the agreement observance mechanism the issue of deploying observers on either side of the border between Abkhazia and Georgia could be considered”.

“Those will be not peacekeeping forces. Those might be observer posts- those of the United Nations on our side, the European Union ones - on the Georgian side that would watch the situation and report, if there was any escalation of tension. At least, they should have a ground and they could have the possibility to report on these violations”, Chirikba said.

“All the details are still in the process of discussion, and the Abkhaz party is ready to consider alternative variants”, he declared.

Sukhum is not against “a small UN Mission” in the territory of Abkhazia that would mediate between Sukhum and Tbilisi, as well as have contacts with the Russian side. These functions performance by European observers is considered impossible by Sukhum, as the European Union took a hard line regarding the recognition of Abkhazia's independence.