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Abkhazia says it will have a decisive say in any new UN deployment

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Abkhazia says it will have a decisive say in any new UN deployment

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With the mandate for the United Nations observer mission expiring this weekend in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia, the government there says it will have a decisive say in any new deployment.

It says any new observer mission will only be allowed to operate if their mandate is changed to recognise Abkhazia’s assertion it is an independent state. Their position has been supported by Russia’s Foreign Minister at a meeting with EU foreign policy officials in Moscow: “The final decision will depend on the position of Georgia as far as the international presence on its territory is concerned, and the position of Abkhazia as far as the presence of the UN on Abkhaz territory is concerned.” Abkhazia also appears to have ruled out any replacement of UN observers by a European Union force, similar to the one that replaced UN peacekeepers in Kosovo. Georgia has said it will not accept any new mission that undermines its sovereignity over Moscow-backed Abkhazia.