Report: Vanuatu Now Cancels Abkhazia's Recognition?
Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims that, with a new government in place, the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu this week revoked its recognition of separatist Abkhazia. If confirmed, this would make for the fourth twist in a hopelessly twisted tale.
Here's how the saga goes. First, the Abkhaz declared Vanuatu recognized their independence. Then, Vanuatu's envoy to the United Nations said they did not. Then, the island’s foreign minister said they did. Now, Georgian officials claim they did not, since an interim prime minister, installed on June 16, has revoked the recognition.
The report has not been confirmed, but does bring to mind a 2009 observation from
Abkhazia’s late de facto President Sergei Bagapsh about the need to be selective in any game of recognition roulette. Abkhazia, he told Radio Ekho Moskvy, plans "serious negotiations" with "serious states" in its bid for international recognition. It does not want to be recognized as an independent state “by some exotic countries” like “Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe," he asserted."We simply don't need that," Bagapsh said. Post-Script: The Vanuatu Daily Post reported on June 20 that Vanuatu Prime Minister Edward Natapei's office had issued a statement cancelling the South Pacific country's recognition of Abkhazia, and announcing plans for setting up diplomatic ties with Georgia. The update, however, has not yet made it to the government's official website, which still contains a brief detailing the reasons for Vanuatu's recognition of Abkhazia.