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Recognizing genocide

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 26
On Tuesday, Parliament experienced a particularly heated debate while discussing the merits of recognizing the Armenian genocide. When Georgian Troupe MP Jondi Baghaturia suggested the government make that recognition, an MP of Azeri origin attacked him as well as government MP Akaki Bobokhidze. Of course, the scandalous behaviour of the MPs did not contribute to the discussion of any issues in Parliament.

The precedent of recognizing genocide for neighbouring nations began on May 20, 2011, when Parliament recognized genocide of the Cherkez people in the 19th century. Those who opposed this move said that this would prompt other nations to also ask Georgia to recognize their genocide, and it would become a parade of genocides. Indeed, Ingush, Chechen, and Armenians have since asked for recognition. As for the Ingush and Chechen claims, it could be very easy for the Georgian Parliament to recognize their genocides as this would irritate the Russian government.

However, it is a completely different situation for the Armenians. On one hand, it is the request of the Armenian government and people that all nations recognize the crimes perpetrated against them by Ottoman Turkey in 1915. On the other hand, Turkey and Azerbaijan are Georgia's strategic partners and would not respond well to the recognition. Hence, the heated debate in Parliament, which caused some MPs to leave the session, and no one to be satisfied.

Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze halted the discussion of the topic, saying that it is very sensitive connecting with much pain and therefore no further discussions would be conducted in Parliament.

During the 1990s, when there was a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Georgian leadership discouraged any participation of the Georgian population in the conflict, threatening them with a loss of Georgian citizenship. Thus, Georgia managed to stay neutral in the conflict and preserve good relations with both neighbours. It appears that the current government is trying to continue that policy of neutrality.