Ketevan Tsikhelashvili has served as Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, responsible for coordinating the country’s conflict resolution policy, since 2016. Tsikhelashvili sat down with OC Media to discuss the ministry’s successes and failures, her new peace initiative, and the barriers to and prospects for peace.
Georgia’s national wrestling team made headlines on Friday after a photo was published online of the team wearing T-shirts of a North Ossetian MP to the background of the Russian flag. The backlash follows a series of controversies around the 10th anniversary of the August War, including in restaurant chain Machakhela, nightclub Bassiani, and with Radio Free Europe’s Georgian service. [Read more…]
Former Prime Minister of Abkhazia, Sergey Shamba, has said that there is a need for more dialogue between Georgia and Abkhazia, and that it was time to think about a ‘common future’ as neighbours. Shamba, who served as PM from 2010–2011 as well as foreign minister from 2004-2010, made the comments in an interview published on 13 August with Echo of Moscow. [Read more…]
On Wednesday, commemorations were held in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), and elsewhere commemorating the 10th anniversary of the August 2008 War. As the presidents of three countries gathered in Tbilisi, Georgian presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili described the war as ‘recklessness, the obsessions of a deranged president, or confusing collusion with a centuries-long enemy’. [Read more…]
More than 25 years have passed since the beginning of Georgia’s armed conflicts — more than enough time for Georgian society and the political elite to assess what happened and why. It’s important that we evaluate where our progress stands in solving these conflicts, and whether we, as a country, need to reevaluate our aims and revise our policy — whether the achieved result are acceptable or not and if not, what we can change. [Read more…]
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has accepted an invitation to visit Tskhinvali (Tskhinval), South Ossetian president Anatoly Bibilov announced in a Monday press conference. The Georgian government condemned the announcement, calling it a ‘gross violation of international norms’.
M M, 47 years old, the village of Dvani, Kareli municipality
‘The cost of conflict is enormous. Everyone paid that cost. I personally paid with my damaged psychology. The most precious part of what I had — the best period of my life — my young age was claimed by this conflict. This is going to haunt me all my life.’
South Ossetian journalist Tamar Mearakishvili has accused Georgian deputy minister of reconciliation Lasha Darsalia of threatening and blackmailing her. Mearakishvili, who the authorities in South Ossetia are prosecuting for ‘slander and forgery’, has been critical of the Georgian government for failing to do more to help her. Darsalia has denied the allegations, telling OC Media there must be a ‘misunderstanding’.
The Russian and South Ossetian authorities have slammed Georgia for passing the Otkhozoria–Tatunashvili sanctions list into law. On 2 July, authorities in South Ossetia labelled the list ‘cynical’ and ‘irresponsible’, dubbing it ‘another indicator’ of Tbilisi’s ‘lack of desire to face its own mistakes and normalise relations’ with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. [Read more…]
Syrian rebel leader Nasr al-Hariri has criticised president Bashar al-Assad for his decision to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, according to Georgian news agency IPN. Al-Hariri heads the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as well as the opposition High Negotiations Committee, which is taking part in UN-sponsored talks in Geneva with the Syrian Government. [Read more…]