Belarus MPs to visit Abkhazia, S.Ossetia on recognition request

MINSK, November 10 (RIA Novosti) - A delegation of Belarusian MPs will visit the two former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on November 17-19 to study their request on recognizing their independence, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday.

"Belarusian deputies and senators intend to study the situation on the spot to make a decision on whether to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia or not," said Sergei Maskevich, chairman of the lower house's commission for international relations with former Soviet republics.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia asked Belarus to recognize their independence last year. However, Belarus has so far refused to join Russia in recognizing the republics.

Russia recognized the two republics shortly after a five-day war with Georgia in August 2008 that began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it back under central control. Abkhazia and South Ossetia have also been recognized by Nicaragua and Venezuela.

The Belarusian parliament resolved last week to establish a working group to consider the recognition of the former Georgian republics.


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