The next meeting took place in frames of the Young Leaders Club, with Mrs. Elene Gotsadze, the Head of Information Centre for NATO and EU giving a lecture to the participant students of the project.The topic of the lecture was the importance of the European integration process. Mrs. Elene Gotsadze further responded the questions of the students.
Previous Cases of Citizens Arrests by the Occupation Regime are Approximately the same as Compared to 2013-2014 Years
According to the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, the cases of arrests of Georgian citizens in previous years are approximately the same as those that have been officially registered in 2013-2014.
Speaking to Interpressnews news agency, in address to the information released by IDFI, Mr. Zakareishvili declared that the arrests of the citizens of Georgia are a matter of concern and clearly show the face and brutality of the regime.
Based on our data, the cases of arrests were not comparably few in previous years they were approximately the same as registered officially throughout 2013-2014. However, previously the de-facto authorities of Abkhazia simply preferred to seize money from those of the arrested, rather than register the cases of arrests. There were frequent cases when the buses and trucks were captured but not registered. This is confirmed by the residents of Gali. The dynamic of statistical background changed after the Russian occupiers seized control of dividing line and checkpoints from the representatives of de-facto authorities, further imposing a rule of recording and registering the cases of arrests. After that, the occupying troops started installation of barbed wire fences, trenches and walls with the purpose of preventing the movement without any so called permission and control. The perceived rise of statistical data is the result of all the facts mentioned above, Mr. Zakareishvili declared.
The State Minister also notes that in previous years we have witnessed the cases of missing persons, which in some cases ended with fatal consequences, also suspicious terrorist attacks, the loss of villages and cities that were all brought to zero under the leadership of Georgian Dream.
“Appointment of Khrulev is yet Another Proof of Occupation and Indicates that Russia does not Trust Abkhaz Society”
According to the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mr. Paata Zakareishvili, appointment of Anatoly Khrulev is yet another proof of Russian occupation which indicates that Russia does not trust Abkhaz society.
"Even though Russian military has been in control of illegal armed formations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia up until now, the appointment Anatoly Khrulev is yet another proof of Russia’s effective control over Abkhazia and its occupation, remaining as a sign of continued occupation regime. The fact indicates that Russia does not trust Abkhaz society and sees their future only under the Russian leadership,"- the Minister declared to the news agency "Vektor".
Anatoly Khrulev, the former commander of Russia’s 58th Army, has been appointed as Chief of the General Staff of the so called armed forces in Abkhazia.
The so called Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Anua presented the candidate before the de-facto President of Abkhazia.
"Our army is not large, but it has shown high military performance in wartime. Times are now different and we have new tasks, including the development of technical and military cooperation with Russia. We count on your knowledge and experience," - Abkhazian leader Khajimba told Khrulev.
It should be noted that Anatoly Khrulev was the commander of the 58th Army from 2006 till 2010. During 2008 Russia-Georgia War he was heavily wounded in so called South Ossetia.
The publication "Europolitics" has released an article by the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mr. Paata Zakareishvili "Eastern Partnership summit: Georgia’s expectations."
In his article Mr. Paata Zakareishvili speaks about the expectations for Riga Summit and hopes that the summit will bring tangible results for Georgia. He names so-called "frozen conflicts" and Russia’s occupation and creeping annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as an obstacle to long-term sustainable development.
The State Minister notes that the Georgian government is ready to offer the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia the benefits expected under its association agreement with the EU, adding that visa liberalisation is an important benefit, in itself and also for the power it has to promote people-to-people exchanges and reinforce the incentives for reconciliation.
The State Minister also thinks that the resolution of the conflicts is a prerequisite for sustainable peace and security in the region.
"The Georgian government has carefully laid the ground over the last few years for reconciliation, rebuilding relationships with Russia and with the people of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and reinforcing democracy and the protection and promotion of human rights for all Georgian citizens"- writes the State Minister.
He also notes that the Riga summit affords a unique possibility for the EU to act to support the efforts of Georgia towards European integration and by doing so to strengthen the existing peace process.
The article was published into English and French languages.
Eastern Partnership summit: Georgia’s expectations
By Paata Zakareishvili, the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic equality
In Georgia, we have high expectations for the Riga Eastern Partnership summit, which is to take place on 21-22 May. We hope that it will bring about tangible and clear results for Georgia in terms of our European aspirations and our path towards European integration. One obstacle to our long-term sustainable development and prospects of a free, united and democratic Georgia is the existence of so-called "frozen conflicts" and Russia’s occupation and creeping annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Ensuring tangible results in Riga - for example by agreeing to visa liberalization for Georgia - will have a positive, direct and irreversible bearing on the dynamics of the peaceful settlement of conflicts in our region.
Time is moving fast to Europe’s East, and, at present, it is running against those who wish to see democracy, peace and prosperity in the region. Indeed, the concept of the conflicts in Georgia and elsewhere as "frozen" is misleading. Russia’s influence is growing irreversibly: military bases are expanding, subsidies are growing, passports are being illegally handed out and so-called "treaties" are being signed to lay the ground for official annexation. At the same time, Russian propaganda is telling citizens in occupied regions that the alternative to European integration is little more than a pipe dream.
In Riga we must prove this wrong. We must show them that the European path offers tangible benefits. A passport that would enable Georgians to move freely throughout the EU area would be a powerful attraction for the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whose illegal documents are not recognised by the international community.
Take Moldova, where visa liberalisation has almost doubled the number of those seeking citizenship there within approximately a year. This is more than symbolic: passports provide a clear anchor between the people and the state, undermining separatism while offering the people a chance to see for themselves what EU integration can offer, including protection of the identity of minority groups.
In Georgia reforms are progressing fast. The Georgian government is ready to offer the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia all the benefits expected under its association agreement with the EU. Visa liberalisation is an important benefit, in itself and also for the power it has to promote people-to-people exchanges and reinforce the incentives for reconciliation.
Resolution of the conflicts is a prerequisite for sustainable peace and security in the region, and for democracy and human rights to flourish. European integration, based on shared values and a shared vision of a Europe free and whole, reinforces this prospect. On the other hand, the more protracted our progress towards European integration, the more chances we miss to offer a concrete alternative to the Russian moves, and the more we risk allowing frustration and disillusionment to breed, slowing down the process of finding a solution to the conflicts.
The Georgian government has carefully laid the ground over the last few years for reconciliation, rebuilding relationships with Russia and with the people of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and reinforcing democracy and the protection and promotion of human rights for all Georgian citizens.
The Riga summit affords a unique possibility for the EU to act to support the efforts of Georgia towards European integration and by doing so to strengthen the existing peace process. Visa liberalisation is not only the most tangible tool for this, but it is the most real and the most powerful instrument in the present context of cooperation. For the sake of Georgia and of security across the Caucasus region and beyond, we must not pass up this chance.
The Confidence Vote won at the Parliament will Encourage Us to Pursue More Clear and Specific Policy - Mr. Paata Zakareishvili
The confidence vote won for the 4th time at the Parliament will encourage us to pursue more clear and specific policy - Mr. Paata Zakareishvili, the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality declared to the news agency "Interpressnews" while speaking about the vote of confidence won by the Government at the Parliament.
According to Mr. Zakareishvili, the modern history of Georgia does not have a large number of ministers who have won the vote of confidence in the Parliament for the same of position for four times. "I am amongst of them. I think this is serious sign of trust for the policy I wage along with the Government. I would like to extend my thanks for the Prime Minister primarily for trusting and supporting our policy and obviously for the Parliament which reinforces this trust. Once again, the confidence vote won for the 4th time at the Parliament will encourage me to say before my opponents that our policy will be ever more clear and specific. This is a rather serious legitimacy and a solid mandate in order to pursue our policy and take clear-cut steps in future,"- Mr. Paata Zakareishvili declared.