19.07.2014

The First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili held a meeting in Zugdidi.

18.07.2014

The Interagency Commission functioning in frames of the National Concept on Tolerance and Civic Integration held its next field session.

Under the guidance of the Office of the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, the Commission members discussed the draft of the new concept and the action plan for forthcoming years. They discussed 6 directions - the rule of law, education and state language, media and information accessibility, political integration and civic participation, social and regional integration, culture and self-preservation. The discussion concerned priority areas, including education and state language, as well as media and information accessibility.

"The new Concept and the Action Plan will be based upon those results and recommendations we received after the implementation process of the previous Action Plan and that were represented within the evaluation document, respectively", - Mrs. Tina Gogheliani, the Head of Civil Integration Unit at State Minister’s Office declared.

The field session was held in Kachreti. Members of the National Minority Council under the Public Defender’s Office and experts took part into the meeting.

09.07.2014

The State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mr. Paata Zakareishvili met with Ambassador Herbert Salber, the EU Special Representative for South Caucasus. The meeting was introductory.

Ambassador and the State Minister discussed the current situation with regard to conflicts. They also reviewed the visions and approaches of the Government of Georgia and the European Union respectively on conflict settlement. Mr. Herbert Salber emphasized the firm support of the European Union for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and its readiness to play a positive role within the conflict settlement process. Mr. Paata Zakareishvili stressed the importance of the EU and its engagement policy against the background of the non-recognition policy.

The subject of the meeting also concerned the process of integration of ethnic minority representatives and the respective policy of the Government of Georgia.

Mr. Bjoern Kuehne the Chief of Cabinet of the EU Special Representative and Mrs. Martha Freeman, the Head of Regional Office of the Special Representative also participated into the meeting.

07.07.2014

Mr. Paata Zakareishvili - I was a frequent critic of Mr. Shevardnadze, however he streamlined many important processes.

"He was a politician destined to live in a dramatic time and to make many dramatic decisions, the part of which is disputable even now. I was a personal criticizing him quite often, openly and strictly. Nevertheless, he took an essential part into the change of not the world politics alone, but took many steps that streamlined many important processes for Georgia", - Mr. Paata Zakareishvili declares.

In particular, the State Minister notes, that Georgia’s NATO integration process started during Mr. Shevardnadze’s term. "In 2002 Prague Summit, it was Mr. Shevardnadze who filed the application for the start of Georgia’s integration process into NATO. Also, Mr. Shevardnadze obtained energy independence for Georgia and its importance is especially obvious today, against the background of the Crisis in Ukraine. The running of unique projects - Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi- Erzurum across Georgia was achieved owing to his direct involvement, following his negotiations with Mr. Heydar Aliyev. These projects are significantly contributing to the energy independence of Georgia and Georgia carries out more sustainable policy", - Mr. Paata Zakareishvili declared.

The State Minister also reflects on the beginning of the withdrawal of Russian military bases out of Georgia among the activities of Mr. Eduard Shevardnadze. "In 1999 Mr. Shevardnadze and Mr. Yeltsin signed the agreement on the withdrawal of four Russian military bases out of Georgia. As a result, on the first phase, Gudauta and Vaziani bases were removed, whilst the timeline for the withdrawal of Batumi and Akhalkalaki bases had to be negotiated before 2008. Unfortunately, the successor government could not finish the withdrawal process of military bases in 2008, but was trapped into a provocation, for which the territory of Georgia is even more loaded by Russian military bases at present. Also, Mr. Shevardnadze managed to destroy criminal that was deeply rooted into the government, which was very important within the period of such crisis", - Mr. Paata Zakareishvili declared.

07.07.2014

The First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili took part into the session of the Temporary Governmental

Commission addressing the needs of villages located near the dividing line.

The session took place into the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure. The Commission members discussed three issues of the agenda.

The session took place into the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure. The Commission members discussed three issues of the agenda.

In particular, they defined the basic directions of the socio-economic development strategy designed for the regions located near the dividing line.

"These are the directions of the development of regional infrastructure and agriculture, improvement of social conditions, development of economic capabilities and support to business. The draft of the strategy will be sent to each of the ministries for further comments; afterwards we will submit the document before the Government for approval", - Mr. Elguja Kokhrishvili, the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, co-chairing the Commission, declared.

Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili provided information about the ongoing work with international donors to the Commission members.

"We work actively with donor organizations. The part of them showed interest and even delivered considerable form of assistance for the population living near the dividing line. We continue meetings and negotiations and currently we discuss issues related with infrastructure as well as medical service with donors", - Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili declared.

The subject of the session also concerned the establishment of multi-functional trade centers near the dividing line.

"Investors showed interest to build multi-functional trade centers near the dividing line in the direction of Abkhazia, as well as Tskhinvali regions. The Partnership Foundation will elaborate these details", - Mr. Elguja Kokhrishvili declared.

The Temporary Governmental Commission addressing the needs of villages located near the dividing line was established on October 1, 2013.

02.07.2014

The First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality met with the delegation of US congressmen’s advisors.

Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili familiarized the delegation members with current situation with regard to the conflicts.

In particular, the First Deputy State Minister spoke to congressmen’s advisors about the peaceful attitude of Georgian Government towards conflict resolution, people-to-people contacts and the need for the solution of humanitarian problems. Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili emphasized the importance of freedom of movement and those problems the local population face due to the barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers erected along the dividing line.

"These barriers cause problems for people living on both sides of the divide; the Government of Georgia does its best to alleviate conditions for these people. We are ready to solve humanitarian problems and submitted relevant suggestions before the de-facto authorities, including the issue of gas provision to Akhalgori district", - Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili declared.

The delegation members showed interest in the issue of cross-contacts and the role of the West within the conflict settlement process. The meeting between the First Deputy State Minister and the US congressmen’s advisors took place in Gori. Today also the delegation members have visited the villages located close to the dividing line.

Delegation pays a visit to Georgia within a week in frames of US-Georgia Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Program (MECEA) and holds meetings with the representatives of legislative and executive authorities of Georgia, the non-governmental sector and Georgian-American business communities. The delegation members will visit different regions of Georgia as well.

Which of the following policies may contribute most to the de-isolation of the residents of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia?
Access to education
Participation in joint cultural projects
Public diplomacy
Trade and freedom of movement
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