Georgia: Tbilisi Trying New Way to Woo Abkhazia, South Ossetia
The Georgian government has developed a new strategy for re-engaging with -- and ultimately re-incorporating -- the separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is working to gain international support and funding for its plan.
The plan, officially named the "State Strategy on Occupied Territories: Engagement through Cooperation," was developed by Georgia's Ministry of Reintegration and released at the end of January. Published in five languages -- Georgian, English, Russian, Abkhaz and Ossetian -- the plan takes a more conciliatory tone than has been customary for Tbilisi, and stresses the need for a "human-centric policy aimed at engagement with the residents of" Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Providing for a variety of social programs, the plan would make health care available to people in the separatist territories, and sketches out plans for rebuilding roads and establishing bus lines. It would also promote the Abkhaz (though not Ossetian) language, and encourage people-to-people contacts across the de facto borders. Focusing on these less controversial issues would help Tbilisi blunt criticism from authorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and the Russian government, Temuri Yakobashvili, Georgia's Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Reintegration, said in an interview with EurasiaNet.
This material is presented as the original analysis of analysts at S-CAR and is distributed without profit and for educational purposes. Attribution to the copyright holder is provided whenever available as is a link to the original source. Reproduction of copyrighted material is subject to the requirements of the copyright owner. Visit the original source of this material to determine restrictions before reproducing it. To request the alteration or removal of this material please email firstname.lastname@example.org.