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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > February
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 13, 2003


Commonwealth of Independent States Peacekeeping Force in Abkhazia

The current mandate of the Commonwealth of Independent States Peacekeeping Force in Abkhazia expired at the end of December, 2002. The United States supports extending the Force's mandate for another six-month period.

Like Georgia, the United States wants to see rapid progress towards political negotiations to resolve the conflict over the region of Abkhazia as well as the return of displaced persons. We encourage the parties to the Abkhazia conflict to accept the paper on Basic Principles for the Distribution of Competencies Between Tbilisi and Sukhumi prepared by the UN Secretary General's Special Representative. We call on the parties to enter into a dialogue to resolve outstanding issues on the basis of the Special Representative's paper.

We fully understand the concern of the Georgian government about recent unilateral actions on Russia's part such as reopening the railway line from Sochi to Sukhumi. The United States believes that no one should engage in activities that would appear to enhance the separate status of Abkhazia and render the negotiating process more difficult.

Released on February 13, 2003

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