The de facto authorities of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia commented on Georgia’s plan to protect the Abkhaz language, adding that Tbilisi is “making populist steps.”
Occupied Sokhumi denounces Abkhaz language protection program
By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, October 31
The statement of the Abkhazian side reads that Georgia’s interest towards the protection of the Abkhazian language is “ridiculous”, and claimed that during the civil war, on October 22 1992, Georgian Army units burnt down the building of Abkhaz literature and history, as well asthe state archive.
“As a result of this act of vandalism, unique documents and materials on Abkhaz history and culture have been destroyed,” the statement reads.
“It is absolutely cynical that the current government of Georgia is trying to demonstrate interestin the protection of the culture and traditions of the Abkhaz people, after the fact that Georgia committed an act of military aggression and tried to destroy us," the Sokhumi authorities report.
The statement also reads that according to the existing practice, Georgia’s real policy continues to show its aggressive and hostile attitude towards Abkhazia and its people.
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, stated several days ago that the Government of Georgia will create a state program for the protection and development of the Abkhazian language.
Abkhaz language day was marked on October 27 and the PM made a statement congratulating both Georgians and Abkhazians.
The PM said that the state program will be a "significant foundation” for the reconciliation process, adding that funds for the program would be allocated from the state budget.
“I believe that our sincere and deep attitude to the Abkhazian language and culture will be crucial for the restoration of the burnt bridges that will unite us,” the PM stated.
About 100,000 people speak Abkhaz in Abkhazia, Georgia’s western, coastal region that was occupied by Russia after Georgia-Russia 2008 August war.
At present, only Venezuela, Vanuatu, Nauru and Russia recognize Abkhazia as an independent state. The other countries recognize Abkhazia - and another Russian-occupied region, South Ossetia - as integral parts of Georgia.