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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgia, Abkhazia to Form Joint Council

GENEVA -- Georgia and its breakaway republic of Abkhazia, who fought a bloody yearlong war, have agreed to create a joint cooperation council to look into security matters, the refugee problem and economic issues.

A final declaration, issued Wednesday after three days of talks in Geneva, said the council would begin its work next month, headed by the special UN representative for Georgia, Liviu Bota.

It carefully avoiding mention of Abkhazia's status, concentrating instead on practical measures to maintain peace and rebuild trust.

Abkhazia, on the Black Sea coast of northwest Georgia, declared unilateral independence in August 1992. Georgian forces were booted out of the territory after a yearlong war that left between 3,000 and 10,000 dead.

The council will meet for the first time in the first week of December, and the security working group will meet at least once a week.