Assad Praises Abkhazian President's Visit To Syria, Says Means Much For Bilateral Ties

Assad Praises Abkhazian President's Visit to Syria, Says Means Much for Bilateral Ties

SUKHUM (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th May, 2021) Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Monday that the visit of his Abkhazian counterpart, Aslan Bzhania, to Damascus is of great importance for bilateral relations.

Bzhania arrived in Syria on Sunday night. The president of the breakaway republic was greeted at the Damascus International Airport by the country's Assistant Foreign and Expatriates Minister Ayman Sousan, as well as other Syrian officials. The 58-year-old leader of the eastern Black Sea nation, which broke away from Georgia in the early 1990s, is being accompanied by a large delegation, which includes the republic's economy, tourism, and foreign ministers.

"Welcoming the Abkhazian delegation headed by President Aslan Bzhania, Syrian President Bashar Assad said that the visit is of great importance for the advancement of interstate relations. It will give a new impetus to cooperation between Abkhazia and Syria in various fields," the Abkhazian leader's press service said in a statement.

Bzhania, on his part, thanked Assad for the warm hospitality.

"It is a great honor for me and my colleagues to be in the ancient land of Syria. Let me once again congratulate you and all the people of the Syrian Arab Republic on the holiday of the end of the holy month of Ramadan Uraza Bayram [Eid al-Fitr], and wish peace and prosperity," the statement read.

The Abkhazian leader also personally thanked his Syrian counterpart for the 2018 decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and establish diplomatic relations with it.

"This is of historical importance to us. I am sure that relations between our countries will strengthen and develop successfully. We are closely following the events taking place in Syria. We admire your personal courage, the feat of the people of Syria in the struggle for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country," he said.

Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on August 26, 2008, after a short war in South Ossetia, during which Georgia's troops established control over the regional center of Tskhinval but were later forced by the Russian troops to retreat. The Russian leadership, on multiple occasions, stressed that the decision reflects reality and will not be reversed. Georgia, however, refuses to recognize the regions' independence, considering them to be occupied territories.