The State Ministry for Reintegration will be renamed into State Ministry for Reconciliation and Civic Equality starting from January 1, 2014, according to this ministry.
Paata Zakareishvili, the state minister whose portfolio includes issues related with the breakaway regions and integration process of ethnic and religious minorities, said on November 29 that change of the name will ease direct contacts with de facto authorities in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In January 2008, when the State Ministry for Conflict Resolution Issues was renamed as the State Ministry for Reintegration, the new name angered both Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. At the time officials from both breakaway regions even warned that they would not have engaged in talks with Georgian state minister in charge of “reintegration.” In July, 2008 then President Saakashvili gave status of his special envoy for conflict resolution issues to then state minister for reintegration Temur Yakobashvili.
State Minister for Reintegration, Paata Zakareishvili, first announced about willingness to rename the ministry earlier this year; in March, 2013 Zakareishvili said that he proposed the new name to then President Saakashvili but the latter was refusing to sign it.
Speaking after a government session on November 29, Zakareishvili told journalists that the new name will include both of his portfolios.
“Term ‘reintegration’ was hampering contacts with the Abkhaz and Ossetian societies. The new name is more neutral,” he said. “So I hope this change of the name will remove an argument of our opponents.”