Dec 20, 2004

Tbilisi Works towards Abkhazia, South Ossetia Peace Plans

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili instructed the government to prepare a peace plan for the Abkhazia and South Ossetian conflicts resolution by February, 2005
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili instructed the government to prepare a peace plan for the Abkhazia and South Ossetian conflicts resolution by February, 2005.

Addressing the Georgian National Security Council late on December 17 Mikheil Saakashvili said that the plan should envisage a “federal arrangement” of the country with “the widest form of status” for these breakaway regions in the “common state” of Georgia.

“We should know in the nearest weeks what kind of autonomous status we can offer them [Abkhazians and South Ossetians] in order to solve the conflicts through a peaceful way… We need this document so that no one can say any more: you want to restore your territorial integrity, but what are you offering Abkhazians and Ossetians?” President Saakashvili said.

He said that a broad range of different civil society and political organizations should be engaged in the process of developing this peace plan.

“Let’s ask those Abkhaz and Ossetian civil society organizations which want to participate in this process how they imagine a broader autonomy in our united, common state… We should launch consultations with different non-governmental organizations who work over this issue, as well as with those different political organizations which have already prepared their position over this issue… let’s enen ask the minor political parties,” the Georgian President said.

“We should have these proposals over autonomy in written form, which should be prepared through a consensus reached among the representatives of the different societies. Everybody who is ready for this should be involved in the process as soon as possible,” Mikheil Saakashvili added.

After the session of the National Security Council, Georgian officials announced that the peace plan should be ready by February, 2005.

“This was a very important statement [by the President]. We have announced many times that we are ready to propose the broadest form of status. We have announced many times in regards to Abkhazia that we are ready to start talks over a federal arrangement of the federal state. But the final version of the proposal will be ready in February,” Nino Burjanadze told reporters after the session of the National Security Council.

“There are some non-governmental organizations which have been working over this issue for many years. Now the government has taken the initiative to launch works over the issue very seriously. The Justice Ministry will be of course engaged in this process through the development of particular legal acts,” Giorgi Papuashvili, the Justice Minister told reporters after the National Security Council.

Earlier this year, a group of Georgian political and legal experts submitted a document regarding the Abkhazia peace plan to the Georgian National Security Council. The document envisages linking Tbilisi and Sukhumi within a single federal state in an attempt to settle the conflict.

The document implies the creation of a two-member federation state. Abkhazia would enjoy the largest possible degree of autonomy in exchange for the abandoning of its current uncompromising position concerning total independence.


Source: CivilGe