The fallout from the September 11 terrorist attacks is spreading to the Caucasus. After years of uneasy peace, Georgia and Abkhazian separatists are mobilizing to resume their bitter conflict. Georgian officials are accusing Russia of fomenting unrest, and President Eduard Shevardnadze is considering pulling Georgia out of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
With stability in Georgia becoming increasingly fragile, the United Nations is opening a new diplomatic drive to resolve Abkhazia's political status. The UN Security Council on July 31 extended the UN peacekeeping mandate following a report by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan containing recommendations on rejuvenating stalled peace talks.
In the days and weeks leading up to Georgia's presidential election back in April, President Eduard Shevardnadze pledged to bring about political solutions to conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Since winning reelection, Shevardnadze has followed through on his campaign promise.