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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgia, Abkhazia Sign Peace Document

TBILISI, Georgia -- The leaders of Georgia and its rebel province of Abkhazia pledged Friday to resolve their differences peacefully but reported no breakthrough on an overall agreement to end their conflict.


Abkhazia has had de facto independence since routing Georgian government forces in fighting in 1992 to 1993 clashes that cost 10,000 lives. But it is not recognized by any state.


A statement, signed by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze and Abkhaz separatist leader Vladislav Ardzinba at the end of their talks, said the sides agreed "to take upon themselves the obligation not to use arms to resolve differences between them and under no circumstances to allow a resumption of bloodshed.


"Only peaceful political methods through negotiations should be used," it went on. It said the two sides "managed to agree on a series of key problems on resolving the conflict. But at the same time, there remain significant differences."


Ardzinba's surprise visit was his first to Tbilisi since the war began exactly five years ago, when Georgian troops marched into the subtropical province on the Black Sea to put down moves toward independence.