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Tbilisi Wants Ankara’s Role in Abkhaz, S.Ossetia Strategy
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Feb.'10 / 11:26

Cooperation between Georgia and Turkey, which is “a guarantee of stability” in the region, should be “an example” for other countries, Davit Bakradze, Georgian parliamentary speaker, said during his visit to Turkey.

Parliamentary delegation, led by Bakradze, which visits Ankara on February 9-12, held talks with Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Mehmet Ali Şahin and the President of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe and founding member of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, Mevlüt Çavusoglu, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.

Bakradze proposed Turkey to engage in implementation of Georgian government’s strategy towards breakaway regions, Georgian Parliament’s press office reported.

The document, which was endorsed by the government in late January, offers launch of a dialogue with Abkhaz diaspora in Turkey - descendants of those tens of thousands of Muslim Abkhazians, who had to move to the then Ottoman empire, as part of a larger Muslim migration process from the Caucasus in the nineteenth century.

Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, said while discussing draft of the strategy with lawmakers in December, that the Abkhaz community in Turkey was mainly “negatively disposed towards Georgia.” “We will have to work seriously in this regard,” he said.

The issue of five Turkish vessels detained by the Georgian coast guard was raised by the Turkish side, according to Georgian Parliament’s press office. Davit Bakradze said that the vessels were detained because of illegally entering into the Georgian territorial waters, including its Abkhaz section. He also said that a joint Georgian-Turkish commission was established to resolve the issue through taking into consideration interests of the both sides.

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