I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 55 together.
With European Union partners, Ireland is concerned to see a comprehensive, peaceful and lasting settlement to the conflict in Abkhazia. Both in its political dialogue with Georgia, and in co-operation with the United Nations and the OSCE, the European Union has been working to promote a negotiated solution.
United Nations military observers were sent to Abkhazia under the UN Security Council resolutions 881 and 892 of November 1993 and January 1994. Recently, the mandate of the UN mission (UNOMIG) was extended until 31 July 1997. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN, Ambassador Edouard Brunner, has been in constant contact with both parties to the conflict, and has spent considerable time on the ground in the region. The OSCE has also been active in promoting dialogue between the parties.
In recent times, Russia has played an important role as a "facilitator" in encouraging dialogue. A peace-keeping force of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is in place in Abkhazia, where it operates alongside the United Nations Observer Mission. The mandate of the CIS peace-keepers has also been extended until 31 July 1997, following agreement at the CIS Summit on 28 March this year to intensify efforts towards a solution to the conflict and the return of refugees and displaced persons.