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National Forum holds rally in front of UN office

By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, June 12
The National Forum held a demonstration in front of the UN Mission headquarters in Tbilisi on Thursday to “remind the world of the problems of IDPs”. The leader of the National Forum, Kakha Shartava, read an appeal the Forum was making to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The letter stressed the importance of extending the mandate of the UN mission in Georgia in its existing format. “Not mentioning Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region as parts of Georgia in official documents adopted by the UN Security Council is regarded by Georgian society as something which will ultimately lead to the loss of Georgia’s territorial integrity,” the letter reads.

“We have gathered here in front of the UN headquarters with one aim – to tell the international community that Georgians will not put up with an attempt to dismember Georgia,” Shartava stated. “We are sure that sooner or later Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians will manage to resolve their confrontation and find a common language. The UN will play a positive role only if it takes decisions which promote reconciliation between these peoples, not if it simply satisfies the geographic interests of the other party to this conflict,” he added.

Another leader of the National Forum, Gubaz Sanikidze, noted that the future of Georgia is being determined in the UN these days. “The National Forum has been saying for three years that the Kosovo precedent is very bad for Georgia, however everyone has been denying this, saying that Georgia’s situation has nothing in common with the Kosovo issue,” Sanikidze stated.

National Forum member Vakhtang Toriashvili, 61, said he was dissatisfied with the UN’s last resolution on Georgia. “Dividing Georgia into parts is unacceptable, that’s why we have gathered here. We want the UN to take this fact into consideration,” Toriashvili noted.

Some of the participants called on the UN to become more active in resolving the current political crisis in the country. “We call on the UN to get more involved in the current processes in Georgia in order to prevent civil confrontation and a further heightening of the situation. I am very concerned about the UN resolution. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia, so the UN should call them such,” Bela Karsanidze, a 70-year-old pensioner, said.

The leader of the Traditionalists Union, Akaki Asatiani, who also participated in the demonstration, said that protests against the UN Security General’s report should become more large scale. “By doing this Georgia will defend not only its own interests but those of the whole world, because if the UN does not defend its resolutions, this will cause chaos in the world,” Asatiani stated.

Ada Marshania, a member of the Tbilisi-backed Abkhazian Government-in-Exile, expressed her concern about the “passivity” of the IDPs. “I am a bit disappointed today, because I don’t see many refugees here, they are a bit passive lately, and I can’t see an explanation for this. I want to tell them that they should not be so passive if they want to return to Abkhazia. I think the EU resolution is the result of our Government’s bad performance and the good performance of Russia. We should not forget Abkhazia while chanting “Misha, go!” Marshania told The Messenger.