Davutoglu in Georgia over court decision on Turkish captain

Turkish FM Davutoglu left for Georgia on an official visit on Monday., state-run news agency said.

Davutoglu in Georgia over court decision on Turkish captain

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Georgia on an official visit on Monday, state-run news agency said.

Davutoglu is set to meet with Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze and Parliament Speaker David Bakradze.

He will also be received by Prime Minister Nikoloz Gilauri of Georgia, Anadolu Agency said.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said that Davutoglu would be in Georgia upon an invitation by his Georgian counterpart Grigol Vashadze.

Davutoglu and Vashadze would- discuss bilateral relations and regional developments.

"Davutoglu has a planned trip to Georgia in the coming days (to ask for the court decision to be overturned)," said a government official speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Turkish captain, Mehmet Ozturk, remains in custody after being sentenced last week to 24 years in jail. The judge who sentenced Ozturk said his appeal was still under consideration

CNN Turk reported earlier that 16 crew members had been released.

Georgia banned all economic and commercial activity in its two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, after last year's five-day war with Russia, when Moscow repelled a Georgian assault on South Ossetia, inflicting a severe military defeat on Tbilisi.

Russia has recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

The dispute has raised tensions in the Black Sea, with Abkhazia threatening to "destroy" Georgian ships in retaliation. Russian forces control Abkhazia's de facto border, including its coastline.

The tanker, operating under a Panama flag with a Turkish and Azeri crew, was seized in late August in the Black Sea by the Georgian coastguard as it tried to deliver 2,000 tonnes of petrol and 700 tonnes of diesel to Abkhazia.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Eylül 2009, 10:58