The messenger logo

Gov’t Announces New Peace Initiative to Breakaway Regions

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 5
(TBILISI)--The Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced about an “unprecedented” peace initiative to the country’s occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions on Wednesday.

The new initiative is called Step toward a Better Future and covers three directions.

- Enhancing and simplifying trade along the boundary lines through creating new opportunities;

Enable support and encourage individual and joint business initiatives across the administrative boundary lines.

- Creating additional opportunities for quality education and simplifying access to 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.

Kvirikashvili stated that the Georgian authorities are taking concrete steps under the reconciliation and engagement policy, which seek to improve the humanitarian, social, and economic conditions of the populations in the Regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, and to encourage contacts, movement, and relations based on mutual interests along and across the administrative boundary lines.

The Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili stated after the announcement that the Government of Georgia makes an open and determined statement that its peaceful policy is unwavering and the existing challenges are to be dealt with peace, development, principled stance, consistency and specific steps.

She added that the package of draft legislative amendments is a “new, proactive and important step” in the frames of peace policy of reconciliation and engagement. Its top priority is to provide peace, building trust between conflict-split communities and care for the population, who is suffering from the gravity of the unresolved conflict on either side of dividing lines on a daily basis.

The amendments need to be confirmed by Parliament.