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Georgia says Somalia has no plans to recognize S.Ossetia, Abkhazia

RIA Novosti

03/10/2008 10:45 TBILISI, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Georgian Foreign Ministry denied on Friday reports that Somalia was planning to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russia recognized the two breakaway republics as independent states on August 26, two weeks after a brief war with Georgia that began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in a bid to bring it back under central control. So far, only Nicaragua has followed suit.

Earlier this week, the Somali ambassador to Moscow, Mohamed Handule, said the country's government would "prepare documents as swiftly as possible" on the establishment of diplomatic relations with South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

However, a spokesman for the Georgian Foreign Ministry said Tbilisi had received an official letter from Somalia saying that the country's Foreign Ministry "had never considered the issue of recognizing the independence of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia."

"Somalia recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia," the letter is reported to have said.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.

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