On Tuesday, Abkhazia inaugurated its embassy in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs in the regime’s government, Walid al-Muallem.
The official Facebook account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published pictures of the event. Muallem gave a speech in the presence of an Abkhazian delegation, which arrived in Damascus on Monday. The delegation is headed by the head of the administrative office of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia, Alkhas Kvitsynia Alexievich, and Abkhazia Foreign Affairs Minister Daur Vadimovich Kove.
In his speech, Muallem said that the opening of the embassy might be a first step towards encouraging other countries to restore relations with the regime. He singled out those he referred to as “the ones who now regret boycotting Syria.”
Khotaba Bagrat Rachkovich was appointed Abkhazian ambassador to Damascus. Muallem received his credentials on Jul. 21, 2020.
On Monday, Abkhazia signed an agreement with Syria around a mutual exemption of entry visas for holders of diplomatic, official, high-ranking and special passports, after a meeting between Muallem and the Abkhazian delegation.
The Assad regime had announced, in May 2018, the establishment of diplomatic relations with the countries of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and signed a treaty of “friendship and cooperation” with the two countries.
Abkhazia (capital Sukhumi) is located in northwestern Georgia along the Black Sea, and has a population of 240,705, about 70 percent of whom are Orthodox Christians.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation between Georgia and Abkhazia deteriorated, which resulted in bloody battles in 1992-1993, in which the Georgian forces were defeated and Abkhazia declared its independence.
In 2008, Georgia officially launched a military attack on Abkhazia, but Russia intervened and recognized the sovereignty of the Republic of Abkhazia.
Only Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, and Syria have recognized Abkhazia.
It seems that the Assad regime has recently been trying to build bridges with countries that are not recognized internationally, due to the stifling European and US sanctions imposed on it.
Last March, the regime announced the opening of a Libyan embassy in Damascus, run by the Haftar government, which does not enjoy legitimate international recognition.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.