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Georgian Breakaway Region Abkhazia Pulls out of Geneva Talks

The Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia will not take part in next week's peace talks on Georgia in Geneva, Switzerland.

The foreign minister of Abkhazia's separatist government, Sergei Shamba, said Saturday that Abkhazia quit the talks because it had not yet received the United Nations' draft report on the region.

Abkhazia does not want to be presented as part of Georgia and was waiting to see how the U.N. would describe it in the report.

Shamba said Abkhazia was expecting the document earlier, but that the U.N. now says it will not be released until after the Geneva talks start on Monday.

The negotiations are aimed at easing tensions after last year's war between Russia and Georgia over Georgia's attempt to forcibly take control of its other breakaway region - South Ossetia.

The planned round of talks among Russia, Georgia and separatists are co-chaired by the United Nations, European Union and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

They have repeatedly run into trouble because of disputes over the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia has recognized the independence of both areas, but most of the world considers them part of Georgia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.