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Peaceful plans to unite Georgia with its breakaway regions

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, January 6
Nestan Kirtadze, Chairwoman of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian House, met with the Ambassador and the Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia Philip Dimitrov on Thursday. Introducing the EU Ambassador to detailed information about the initiatives and strategies of her newly established public movement, Kirtadze spoke of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian House as one of the first peacekeeping centres established since the Georgian-Russian war in August 2008. Having invited Kirtadze to the EU office Philip Dimitrov spoke of the importance of the peacekeeping initiative emphasizing the supremacy of peace and peaceful relations without any alternative. Talking of the EU as their main partner Kirtadze said that Dimitrov welcomed her peaceful initiatives.

Expressing her readiness to hold detailed discussions on restoring transport communication, trade and economical cooperation, healthcare and other social projects encouraging peacekeeping activities with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Chairwoman of the public movement hoped for confidence-building among the people living in the breakaway regions. “The hope for restoring trust among Abkhazians and Ossetians is the most important thing. We hope that Abkhazians and Ossetians will have counter-interests as a result of constant dialogue,” Kirtadze told The Messenger.

Discouraging the Government from making only slogans but no concrete steps forward in regulations regarding the breakaway regions Kirtadze spoke of her public movement as a peaceful alternative uniting Georgian citizens’ pathos for the purpose of restoring peace and unity to the country. The new peacekeeping initiative of the public movement and its strategy has been sent to various embassies, diplomatic corps and international organizations as well as the US Department of State, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and the Head of the Russian Delegation participating in Geneva Talks Genady Karasin. “The role of the Russian side is very important in this process; we want Russian civil society to promote bilateral dialogue,” Kirtadze said at the presentation of her public movement that is supposed to arrive in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali in Spring 2012.

Analyst Gogi Khutsishvili, Director of the International Centre for Conflicts and Negotiations (ICCN), welcomed the engagement of new organizations in peacekeeping processes but doubted that any particular steps can be reached without a relevant state policy. Khutsishvili explained that lots of things are being done on the level of NGOs that are trying to do as much as possible.