About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Georgian Pundit Speaks of Need to Consider Recognition of Abkhaz Independence
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Jun.'11 / 13:11

A Georgian pundit and a frequent commentator on Caucasian affairs and conflict issues, Mamuka Areshidze, put an exceptionally rare twist to a discourse within Georgian society on future Tbilisi-Sokhumi relations by saying that Georgia should consider recognizing Abkhazia’s independence.

Areshidze acknowledged, that the idea, which seems to be hugely unpopular within Georgia and which actually has never been a major part of public discussion on Abkhaz-related matters mainly focused on territorial integrity concept, is expected to draw lots of criticism.

“Not only the present government, in the condition of present society in overall there will be lots of obstacles; many people will set against me,” Mamuka Areshidze, the head of Caucasus Center for Strategic Research, said in an interview with the Georgian daily, Rezonansi, published on June 15.

He said that Tbilisi should start considering this approach for very pragmatic reasons.

“We have to take extraordinary measures in order to return not Abkhazia, but to return Abkhazians… If we want to return Abkhazians, we should save them,” Areshidze said.

“Return of Abkhazians will be impossible if we leave them in the situation in which they currently are. Russia is vigorously changing demographic landscape of Abkhazia."

He said that Russia’s policy of encouraging its military personnel serving in Abkhazia and their families to stay in the region after end of service would further change the demographic situation by decreasing already diminished share of ethnic Abkhazians.

He said that independence for Abkhazia should not in any way be unconditional and it should be linked to set of preconditions, including return of refugees and internally displaced persons.
 
“I am not saying that we should directly give Abkhazia independence and put an end on that. We should put forth preconditions in the context of giving independence, for example return of refugees,” Areshidze said and added that by recognizing Abkhaz independence Tbilisi will distance Sokhumi from Moscow.

“That would be the only way for us to speak with the Abkhazians in presence of the international community without Russia,” Areshidze said.
 
“I want to say one thing: the time of traditional approaches is over. Our adversary, which has very strong political, diplomatic, as well as military resources, outdistances us in every way. So we have to make such a surprise move which will disarm our adversary – that means the move which will distance our adversary from the Abkhazians,” he said.

The case of South Ossetia is different, Areshidze said.

“Ossetians are not concerned with the problems, which Abkhazians are facing. Russian occupied South Ossetia is purely military territory. Expelling Ossetians from that territory is not on [Russia’s] agenda, while that is on the agenda in case of Abkhazia,” he said.

“The current situation in Abkhazia gives no reason for optimism. The Georgian society got accustomed to the idea that Abkhazia will return back to Georgia’s fold, but it can be dragged out for many years. But situation in this regard is much more difficult with Abkhazia than in respect of South Ossetia, because return of this latter back to Georgia’s fold is more realistic than of Abkhazia,” Areshidze said.

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2020, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
11