Georgia: UN chairs meeting aimed at advancing peace process

17 February 2004

A two-day meeting aimed at addressing the conflict in Georgia opened today in Geneva under United Nations auspices.

The closed meeting, chaired by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, brought together the "Group of Friends of the Secretary-General" - France, Germany, the Russian Federation the United Kingdom and the United States.

Representatives of the Georgian Government are also participating in the talks.

The conflict in Abkhazia - strategically located on the Black Sea in the northwestern part of Georgia - dates back to 1992 when social unrest escalated into armed confrontation. In August 1993, the Security Council established the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) to monitor a ceasefire agreement. Although the operation's mandate was subsequently expanded after the parties signed another agreement in 1994, the peace process has remained largely stalled in recent years.


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