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Tuvalu scraps recognition of Georgia breakaway regions

AFP  |  Tbilisi 

The tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has withdrawn its decision to recognise Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent, said today.

One of the world's smallest countries with a population of around 10,000, Tuvalu recognised the regions as independent states in 2011 although it is located thousands of miles away between and Hawaii.

The foreign minister of Tuvalu, Taukelina Finikaso, signed a document reversing the 2011 decision while on a visit to Tbilisi, the Georgian foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Tuvalu recognises the territorial integrity of within its internationally recognised borders, including its regions -- the autonomous republic of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia," Georgia's foreign ministry said.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence was first recognised by after it defeated in a brief 2008 war triggered by Tbilisi's military attempt to regain control over South Ossetia.

In a bizarre diplomatic move, Tuvalu was one of the few countries to follow Moscow's lead and recognise the Georgian rebel regions as independent, along with Nicaragua, Venezuela and two other Pacific states, Nauru and Vanuatu.

Last year Vanuatu also retracted its recognition of the two Georgian rebel regions.

In the war's aftermath, the Kremlin permanently stationed thousands of troops in the two regions in a move described by Georgia and its Western allies as occupation.

First Published: Mon, March 31 2014. 22:37 IST