10 Jun 2011

Abkhazia recognition labelled diplomatic embarassment for Vanuatu

3:04 pm on 10 June 2011

A former Vanuatu foreign minister, Joe Natuman, says the speculation over whether the government had decided to recognise the independence of Abkhazia has been a diplomatic embarassment.

The government has confirmed it has agreed to formally recognize Abkhazia, a Russian-backed breakaway region of Georgia.

It came after Vanuatu's ambassador to the United Nations strongly denied reports from Abkhazia that Vanuatu had recognised the territory's sovereignty.

The story appeared in Russian media as well as the New York Times and the opposition's Joe Natuman says the government should have confirmed its decision several days ago.

"Very embarrasing, diplomatic embarrassment for the country it does no good for the reputation of Vanuatu, it's not the first time the current government and ministers do all sorts of things without proper consultation with people who are supposed to know and receiving proper advice before making decisions."

Opposition MP Joe Natuman.