18 Mar 2013

Vanuatu admits confusion over Abkhazia link

4:14 pm on 18 March 2013

Vanuatu's foreign ministry has denied that the country has set up diplomatic relations with Abkhazia, the Russian-backed breakaway region of Georgia.

This follows the announcement by the government that it is seeking diplomatic relations with Georgia.

In 2011, Vanuatu's foreign minister Alfred Carlot declared his country's diplomatic recognition of Abkhazia, before denying it and then later reaffirming the ties.

However, Mr Carlot has now signalled a move to establish ties with Georgia.

The Director-General of Foreign Affairs, Johnny Koanapo, says that at this time there are no formal relations with Abkhazia.

"There's been a confusion over what the government had intended to do which was just simply a letter stating that there might be an intention to establish relations with Abkhazia. But at this point in time, there's no action on that and there's no decision."

Johnny Koanapo.

Tuvalu and Nauru are among the five countries which recognise Abkhazia.