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The Prime Minister’s new vision

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 21
Moscow’s position regarding the proposed treaty between Russia and Abkhazia has pushed the Georgian government to take several counter- steps. Besides the increasing activity in the foreign policy field, a special approach is being elaborated for the Abkhazian population. The document is entitled The Prime Minister’s New Vision for Abkhazia.

The document stresses that the signing of the treaty is against the interests of Abkhazia. However, the first statement made by the prime minister concerning the recent developments in Abkhazia has drawn criticism from the opposition.

According to the Secretary of the Crisis Management Council Mindia Janelidze, the document is being drafted, and after its conclusion the prime minister will make comment. He stated that the document concerns the people living in the occupied region.

“It is not a simple case that can be solved in just few hours. We are working on the document,” Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili emphasized that the treaty between the de-facto region and Russia is alarming and creates serious dangers for the Abkhazian people first of all.

"I do not want to believe that the population of Abkhazia and the Abkhaz nation strives for that. This is directly contrary to their 25-year struggle for self-determination, recognition and so-called independence. As far as I know, there are different positions and critical attitudes towards the text of the document,” the PM said.

The opposition responded swiftly to the statement. Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili criticized the PM for using the term “self determination.”

“This term undermines our many years' struggle. Self-determination is an international legal term which frees Russia from responsibility for occupation and other crimes; it paves the way for recognition of Abkhazia’s independence. By using this term the Georgian government humiliates all the heroes who died fighting for Georgia’s territorial integrity, as well as half a million IDPs and each Georgian citizen,” Saakashvili posted on his Facebook page on Friday.

Responding to the accusations, the prime minister explained that he meant that Abkhazians have always had autonomy and that the Georgian government still offers them this autonomy.

“My words have been understood by the listener and have not been understood by the provocateur and adventurer, who made us lose Kodori, and many territories whose immature policy resulted in the war in 2008 and which stipulated recognition of Abkhazia and Samachablo by Russia (Saakashvili). Unfortunately, we have to correct Saakashvili's tragic legacy and the serious mistakes he has made,” Gharibashvili said.

The prime minister’s statement was also explained by Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who stated that the policy that is being undertaken by Russia is directly opposed to the interests of Abkhazians.

“Abkhazians want to preserve their identity and this option is only possible within Georgia,” Alasania said.

Following the statements, the Iveria movement was the first that demanded the resignation of the prime minister. Based on their statement, the PM should resign immediately.

The United National Movement will demand the same and set the issue at parliament. However, as the analysts suggest the initiative will not be supported by the majority.