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Security Council keen to hear Abkhaz, S.Ossetian views - Russia

21:55 16/09/2008
NEW YORK, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - The United Nations Security Council has expressed an interest in meeting with representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but says the visa issue must be decided first, Russia's envoy to the UN said Tuesday.

"UN Security Council members have expressed great interest in such meeting, but we have not overcome the well-known obstacle of obtaining American visas and are currently working on this," Vitaly Churkin said.

Russia suggested holding an informal UN Security Council meeting with representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after Security Council consultations on September 9, in which Russia introduced a draft resolution on imposing an arms embargo on Georgia.

Russia considers it impossible for the Security Council to discuss extending the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), which expires on October 15, without hearing from all parties to the conflict.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states on August 26. Only Nicaragua has recognized the republics since then, although Belarus may follow suit later this month.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Norov, the foreign minister of Uzbekistan, said his country had not yet decided whether to recognize the Georgian rebel republics.

"As for the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Uzbekistan has not yet worked out its approach," Norov said following a regular session of the Uzbekistan-EU Cooperation Council in Brussels.

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RIA NovostiSecurity Council keen to hear Abkhaz, S.Ossetian views - Russia

21:55 16/09/2008 The United Nations Security Council has expressed an interest in meeting with representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but says the visa issue must be decided first, Russia's envoy to the UN said Tuesday. >>

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