Big plans to develop area near breakaway region

Garibahsvili began his speech by highlighting the necessity of regaining the faith of Abkhazian people. Photo by PM's press office, 02 Apr 2014 - 19:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

The area near the breakaway region of Abkhazia has been earmarked for big development.

This and other issues including Georgian-Abkhazian relations, infrastructural projects and issues of internally displaced people were key points of the Prime Minister’s address to locals living in the Samegrelo region today.

Irakli Garibashvili visited Samegrelo in Western Georgia during his regional tour across the country. The Samegrelo area shares a border with Abkhazia – one of Georgia’s breakaway regions.

Garibahsvili began his speech by highlighting the necessity of regaining the faith of Abkhazian people.

"Abkhazia should return to Georgia with its own desire,” the Prime Minister said.

"The desire of a better future should move Abkhazia closer to Georgia. Only the attractive perspective of economic, social and cultural development should reconnect us with each other.”

He then spoke about the problems facing internally displaced people, noting the state had allocated 10 million GEL to provide each internally displaced family with a flat by 2016.

Garibashvili overviewed several infrastructural projects the Government planned to implement in the Samegrelo region. One of these was a full renovation of Dadiani Palaces History and Architectural Museum, which is considered to be one of the most eminent palaces in the Caucasus.

The Prime Minister said a regional hospital was also earmarked to be built in the region. He claimed 600 local people would be employed to construct the 200-bed clinic, which would also serve as an educational center for those willing to gain medical knowledge.

Garibahsvili stressed the hospital would serve Abkhazian patients as well and there would be a special campus to house Abkhazian families when they had a family member being treated at the hospital.

The chair of the Georgian Government paid special attention to the importance of agricultural development. He said: "I am not against import but we should create as much product as possible here.”

Garibashvili proposed at least one special product to be provided in each Georgian region.

Meanwhile, the locals complained to the Prime Minister that three-carriage train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi, connecting the Samegrelo centre with the country’s capital city, was not large enough capacity. They received a promise from the PM one more train would be added to connect the two areas.

Garibahsvili also spoke about the previous Government’s nine years in power and said everyone who had committed a crime during that period would be judged and punished.