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INTERNATIONAL-NEWSBRI 03-05 Web

Republics aim for recognition

Governments in Georgia’s breakaway republics, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, are stepping up efforts to get their claims for independence recognized by the international community.

The parliament in South Ossetia, a tiny territory with a population of less than 100,000, has sent an appeal to the United Nations, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Russia.

The document, posted on the government’s official website, reads: "Seventeen years of South Ossetia’s de facto independence proves the republic’s liability, and its sovereignty needs to be legitimized by the UN Charter."

Abkhazia, another unrecognized republic with a population around 200,000, also has plans to reiterate its calls for recognition of its self-proclaimed independence by Russia and major international organizations later this week.

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"We are not ending our efforts in this direction and we appeal to the Russian parliament and international organizations, in particular the UN, demanding recognition," said Sergei Shamba, foreign minister of the self-proclaimed republic.

Shortly after Kosovo declared independence on February 17, both Abkhazia and South Ossetia, that were involved in bloody conflicts after proclaiming independence from Georgia in 1991, said Kosovo’s independence should be taken into account as far as their sovereignty is concerned.

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