The United States Acting Ambassador to Georgia, Elisabeth Rood, approved the Peace Initiative, announced by the Georgian Government in early April, and added it creates a prospect for peaceful processes.
Acting US Ambassador Welcomes Georgian Gov’t Peace Initiative
By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, April 19
The Peace Initiative envisages improvement of the humanitarian, social and economic conditions of those living in Georgia’s Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.
Elisabeth Rood says US supports the Georgian government’s efforts to strengthen its territorial integrity.
“We think that the initiatives of the Government of Georgia aimed at promoting trade with Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, and offering educational opportunities may be a good step forward. We welcome this initiative,” she said, adding the US also supports Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders.
Along with the US, the initiative was supported by the Germany, European Union, NATO, Poland, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden.
The new initiative is called Step towards a Better Future and covers three directions.
• Enhancing and simplifying trade along the boundary lines by creating new opportunities; Under the initiative, it will be possible to support and encourage individual and joint business initiatives across the administrative boundary lines.
• Creating additional opportunities for quality education and simplifying access at every level of education both at home and abroad;Youths, their education and welfare on either side of the boundary lines, are important to us. They are the generation that will live together in a unified Georgia and participate in the country's building.
• Creation of a mechanism simplifying access to the benefits and goods available to our country resulting from the country's development, including European integration, visa waiver, free trade rights, and others.
However, as expected, puppet regimes of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali rejected the Georgian Government’s peace proposal intended to enhance economic and people-to-people exchanges between residents of the two regions and the rest of the country.
Abkhaz “foreign minister” Daur Kove said Tbilisi was “masking its real intentions through demonstrating its supposed friendliness” before the international community, while de facto Tskhinvali announced it was “another PR activity and its crude attempt to present Georgia before the international community as a peace-loving state with a constructive leadership.”
Tskhinvali region has been occupied by Russia since 2008 August war.