Secretary of National Security Council Eka Tkeshelashvili and State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili met on December 21 with representatives of political parties, making up the parliamentary minority, to discuss a strategy paper laying out Tbilisi’s policies towards its breakaway regions.
The meeting was snubbed by the non-parliamentary opposition parties.
“We try to create a document, which will be effective and implemented and which will not be simply of declarative nature,” said Iakobashvili, who also met on December 21 with a group of analysts and scholars to discuss the paper.
He also said that the document was drafted in a way to also reflect the interests of communities in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The document, which is not yet public, will be finalized this month, according to officials.
The strategy paper, according to officials, will be followed with a separate document laying out an action plan on how the goals, outlined in the strategy paper, will be implemented.
Victor Dolidze of Our Georgia-Free Democratic Party, led by Irakli Alasania (part of opposition Alliance for Georgia), said on December 20 that, although invited, the Alliance would not participate in the meeting at the National Security Council. He said that although the document itself was a positive step, it was not clear how the authorities planned to implement it. He also said that the current Georgian authorities had “no resources” for its implementation.
An outgoing EU Neighborhood Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, told the European Parliament on December 15, that “isolation of the breakaway regions will not help efforts for conflict resolution.”
“On the contrary – a smart policy of engagement with Abkhazia and South Ossetia is needed,” she said and in this context she added that Georgia’s ongoing efforts to elaborate a strategy paper towards its two breakaway regions “deserve our support”.