Vanuatu’s Minister of Foreign Affairs
Alfred Carlot has apologised for the miscommunication between the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vanuatu’s UN Representative-Donald
Kalpokas in New York.
Minister Carlot said, was due to his
absence on a multilateral mission abroad in Seoul.
But he made Vanuatu’s stand on recognition
for Abkhazia clear when he revealed Vanuatu is looking forward to
establishing Trade relations with the Republic of Abkhazia and the
Republic of Georgia in the “very near future”.
“As the Minister of Foreign Affairs I
reaffirm Vanuatu’s recognition to the Republic of Abkhazia,” said
“Vanuatu signed diplomatic relations with
the Republic of Abkhazia in Port Vila on May 23, 2011 by Prime minister
“Vanuatu conducts an open foreign policy
and is amongst other members of the international community in
eradicating colonialism from the face of this planet. Vanuatu is
neutral; our recognition of Abkhazia does not in any way mean that we
cannot have diplomatic relations with the Republic of Georgia.
“We wish to extend our most sincere
invitation to the Republic of Georgia to establish relations with us.
“One of our roving ambassadors will be
visiting the region later this year.”
Minister Carlot further revealed that
having personally studied at the Moscow University on an exchange scheme(
MGIMO) in 1987 he has a “very good understanding of the geo-political
situation in that region”.
Abkhazia has Sergei Bagapsh as its
president and Georgia’s president is Mikheil Saakashvili.
Boasting a population of over 250,000
(Christians and Islamists) with agricultural (citrus fruit, tobacco,
tea, timber,) coal and hydro-electric power as its natural resources
Abkhazia is considered to be the break away region of Georgia(1992-1993
war) and its economy is highly dependent on Russia.
Despite declaring its independence in 1999 it is not recognised by many
international communities and Vanuatu is only the second country in the
Pacific after Nauru to recognise Abkhazia.
Here are some key dates in the history of
Abkhazia as provided by the BBC:
756 - Independent kingdom formed, 985 -
Becomes part of Georgia, later regaining independence, 1578 - Comes
under Turkish rule , 1810 - Russia declares Abkhazia a protectorate,1864
- Russia annexes Abkhazia,1931 - Soviet authorities incorporate Abkhazia
into Georgia,1991 - Georgia declares independence ,1992 - Georgia sends
troops to stop Abkhazia breaking away ,1993 - Fierce fighting ends with
Georgian forces being expelled from Abkhazia ,1994 - Ceasefire agreed,
peacekeepers arrive, nearly all Russian ,1999 - Abkhazia declares
independence ,2004 - New Georgian president Saakashvili vows to restore
Georgia’s territorial integrity and return Abkhazia, South Ossetia to
the fold ,2008 - Russia formally recognises Abkhazia’s independence,
following the Russian-Georgian war over South Ossetia and 2009 - Russian
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits.