Posted on 31.08.2011 in Georgia, News, Russia

Elections in Abkhazia, new EU Representative in Georgia

Philippe Lafort was appointed the new EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, while the outcome of the presidential elections in the separatist territory of Abkhazia remains largely unrecognised.

Catherine Ashton © European Union, 2011
Catherine Ashton © European Union, 2011

Philippe Lefort, appointed on August 26, was suggested for the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia by Catherine Ashton and will be holding the position until June 2012. His mandate includes the development of contacts with key political actors in the region, encouraging cooperation and common solutions in such areas as security threats, the fight against terrorism, illicit trafficking and organised crime as well as contributing to the peaceful settlement of regional conflicts.

Meanwhile, on August 26, disputed separatist territory of Abkhazia held presidential elections. The voting was planned for third anniversary of Russia’s official recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. After the 2008 War in South Ossetia, which had spread to Abkhazia, its relations with Georgia remain tense.

Georgia is a member of EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative and High Representative Ashton said in her statement that the EU “supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.” Elections were not recognised by NATO and Secretary General Rasmussen is quoted as saying, that such initiatives do not contribute to a peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Source: EU Newsroom (1) (2), RFE