Georgian Reconciliation Minister to EU: Gov’t’s peaceful reintegration policy “successful”

The official also briefed the session about Russia’s illegal actions in Georgia’s occupied regions. Photo: Reconciliation Ministry press office, 09 Jun 2023 - 12:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Thea Akhvlediani, the Georgian State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality, on Thursday highlighted the “success” of her Government's efforts for peaceful reintegration of the country’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions in comments for representatives of the European Union. 

Addressing the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee’s 12th session in Brussels on Thursday, the official stressed the Government was “successfully implementing” its initiatives and programmes to improve the lives of conflict-affected communities in a bid to ensure peaceful reintegration of the regions, her office said. 

Highlighting a “growing interest” of the beneficiaries to support offered by the state, Akhvlediani also extended her gratitude to the country’s foreign partners and organisations for their “unwavering support” for the Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, on the backdrop of the continued presence of Russian troops on the 20 percent of the country’s territory and Moscow’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine. 

The official also briefed the session about Russia’s illegal actions in Georgia’s occupied regions, including “gross violations'' of fundamental rights of conflict-affected communities, their discrimination on ethnic grounds, illegal restrictions of their movement, installation of barriers by occupation forces and their illegal arrests of Georgian citizens.

Akhvlediani also noted the importance of keeping the issue of peaceful resolution of the conflicts on the international agenda, as well as the need for further consolidated efforts to ensure the release of Georgian nationals illegally arrested by the occupation forces alongside the administrative line marking the occupation. She also called for holding individuals convicted for murders of Georgian citizens in the occupied regions accountable. 

Georgia has been experiencing the worst consequences of hybrid and [direct] Russian aggression for more than 30 years, and of an ongoing occupation for 15 years. Accordingly, the Georgian people know the price of gaining independence, the sovereign right of free choice and peace the best”, she said in her comments.

“The Georgian Government is making intensive efforts [for these goals] on a daily basis in accordance with national interests, foreign policy priorities and [for the objective of] establishing our deserved place in the European family”, Akhvlediani told the Committee meeting, while also noting the Government’s efforts for fulfilling the conditions outlined by the EU last year for granting the country its membership candidate status.