Georgia says it will sever diplomatic relations with Syria over its decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua said on Tuesday.
The same day, a statement on the website of the self-declared South Ossetian Foreign Ministry said the northern Georgian region and Syria had “established diplomatic relations.”
The Syrian news agency SANA also reported that Damascus had agreed to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia “in appreciation of the supportive positions [they made] toward the terrorist aggression against Syria.”
Earlier in the day, Syria recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and decided to establish the diplomatic relations with the republics.
Abkhaz President Raul Khajimba said Abkhazia and Syria “agreed on the mutual recognition and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries through embassies, which reflects their common [desire] to develop relations in all areas.”
Khajimba added that people in Abkhazia “highly value” Syria’s recognition.
“Georgia has launched the procedure to suspend diplomatic ties with Syria. I would like to note that the international community firmly supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and the policy of non-recognition of the occupied territories,” Dondua told a briefing.
Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in the early 1990s and were recognized by Russia in the aftermath of the 2008 conflict between Tbilisi and Moscow. Georgia still considers the republics as part of its territory.
Venezuela, Nicaragua, and the Pacific island of Nauru have also recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.