Georgian PM hails Govt's reconciliation, confidence-building policy on Abkhazia Day

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday congratulated his country’s citizens on Abkhazia Day. Photo: Government press office, 23 May 2023 - 11:54, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday hailed his Government's policy of reconciliation and confidence-building between communities affected by the conflict in the country’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia region in remarks on Abkhazia Day. 

Extending messages of celebration to “our Abkhaz compatriots” on the day marked since 2019 with the initiative of Ilia II, the Catholics Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the head of the Government named "restoration of trust" with the country’s citizens living in the region as his office’s “key priority” before a future reintegration of the occupied territories.

We have one history and culture, common values and a desire to strive for our children's better future. This is what gives us hope that the restoration of mutual respect, trust and friendship will make us a strong, united, developed and European country”, said the PM. 

Abkhazia was the same epicenter of an armed conflict in the early 1990s with the involvement of Russia that killed between 13,000 to 20,000 ethnic Georgians and approximately 3,000 ethnic Abkhaz, with more than 250,000 Georgians becoming internally displaced or refugees and about 2,000 going missing.

Following its invasion of Georgia in August 2008, Russia recognised Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) - the epicenter of the latest conflict - and Abkhazia as independent states.  

Only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria have joined the Russia’s stance over the past 15 years, while the rest of the international community is unanimous in its recognition of the regions as occupied parts of Georgia, and has called on Russia to respect the conditions of a ceasefire agreement signed with Tbilisi in August 12, 2008 and withdraw its troops from the regions .