Georgian Ambassador complains about occupied Abkhazia’s presence in Athens fair

Ambassador of Georgia Ioseb Nanobashvili in a statement during a news briefing this morning [Dec 10] referred to the participation of representatives from the Occupied Georgian Region of Abkhazia in the 2nd International Tourism Fair “Greek Tourism Expo 2015”, held on 4-6 December, 2015 and organized by “Leaderexpo”.

Ambassador Nanobashvili said: “Today’s news briefing is a reflection of a regretful fact which took place at the Athens Touristic Exhibition 2015, organized by Leaderexpo. As you may already know, the so-called Trade Representatives from the Occupied Georgian region of Abkhazia took part in the event.

Our intention is to give you a broader picture of the problem and through you, pass a message to all business-related institutions and business-entities which operate in Greece.

After complete failure to promote the so-called independence of the Georgian occupied regions through their International recognition – as you know, only four states: Russia in our part of the world and three others overseas, including a tiny island in the pacific consider the Georgian regions as independent states – the occupation regimes try to achieve any kind of legitimization through international contacts, participation in trade and cultural fairs, signing agreements with business-entities, etc. Such activities of the occupation regimes have nothing to do with any business or trade.

To this end, I would like to take this opportunity and express my sincere gratitude to the government of the Hellenic Republic, its legislative branch and the Greek society for friendship, cooperation and support in the matters of national interest for my country throughout years.

Today’s meeting does not intend to corner Leaderexpo or anyone else. We wish this company success and would gladly cooperate with Leaderexpo in the future, however, we hope, its management will have more responsible attitude towards such sensitive issues and spare no efforts to preclude similar cases in the future.

Whoever engages in organizing an international event, be it fair or exhibition must possess at least basic knowledge of political geography, in order to avoid making a late excuse that, as they put it, “they did not know that Abkhazia is not a country”.

Again, through today’s news-conference we would like to reach out business-associations, chambers of trade and industry, private companies to refrain from any contacts with the representatives of the occupation regimes, as such contacts violate the National law of Georgia and relevant International norms, and surely do not contribute to the Greek-Georgian trade-economic relations.

Speaking of economic relations between our countries, I would like to underline that the Governments, businesses, business associations and chambers of both countries work hard to promote mutual partnership and take our trade forward. On the Greek side, I would like to especially underline the job done by the president of the Athens chamber of commerce and Industry Mr. Michalos, who skillfully and effectively facilitates this process.

Indeed, the fact like the one of December 4-6 cannot and will not undermine our joint efforts. This time we decided to take only few steps in response to the incident: we notified the Ministries of FA and Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Athens, wrote a comprehensive letter to “Leaderexpo” and organized today’s meeting with mass-media.

However, another fact like this will definitely involve International institutions, World Federation and International Association of chambers of commerce and industry, the diplomatic corpus accredited in Greece. I also do not exclude that the legitimate Government of the Abkhaz Autonomous Republic files a case against the company to Georgian or International court and notify about the fact all trade-related chambers and business-associations of our partner countries…”

Photo: Alpha TV