Thomas de Waal, senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and a prolific writer on the South Caucasus recently sat down with OC Media. He discussed democracy in Abkhazia and the international community’s role there, and the recent thaw in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
In Azerbaijan, as in Armenia, remembrance of the victims of past atrocities often takes on a one-sided nature. Despite attempts to twist and politicise such events to serve nationalist causes, a more compassionate approach is needed to move forward, and a remembrance that above all, innocent victims are always sacred.
The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh are hoping to incentivise more people to settle in the sparsely populated areas of Nagorno-Karabakh to encourage economic growth and strengthen its sense of security. However, the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan casts shadow on these plans.
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.
Abkhazia has denounced Georgia’s recent ‘peace initiative’ to simplify trade and movement of people for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the US, EU, and a number of other countries welcomed the initiative.
Georgian authorities have unveiled a wide ranging plan ‘to encourage contacts, movement, and relations’ with people in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The plan includes efforts to simplify trade, including from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the EU, and encourage students from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to study in Georgian institutions and abroad. The initiative will also include changes to Georgia’s Law on Occupied Territories.
The Salafi community and Sufi Council of Elders in Pankisi Valley, northeast Georgia, agreed to cooperate on 14 June and to work together on issues in the valley. [Read more…]
Despite Georgia’s attempts to better integrate and include ethnic minorities, young ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the country are becoming more politically invested in the affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan than in their Georgian homeland.