Georgian president: ‘We have to show the prospect of a future to the Abkhaz, Ossetians’
“We need to show the Abkhaz and Ossetians a future that will not pose a threat to them, but will pave the way to Europe, that is, to prosperity”, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said while delivering her annual report in parliament today.
Zurabishvili said Tbilisi has made significant steps towards peace regarding the occupied territories, but it is time “to prepare for a more sound policy beyond these steps.”
“We have to show the Abkhaz and Ossetians the prospect of a future that [they don’t have there] the prospect of a united state: a prospect that will not endanger them but pave the way to Europe, that is, to prosperity. A way to survive in one’s own language and culture, to maintain authenticity. However, we must also remember that creating a new perspective and de-occupation cannot be separated from one another.”
Members of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, as well as members of the government, representatives of the Patriarchate, Tbilisi mayor and diplomatic corps listened to the President’s speech in parliament.
No opposition lawmakers attended the president’s speech – European Georgia and the United National Movement remain in a boycott. The Alliance of Patriots did not listen to the report either.
After learning that the format of the president’s speech did not include a question-and-answer session, independent lawmakers refused to listen to the president.
Zurabishvili addressed the parliament for 34 minutes.
During her speech, civil activists staged a protest outside the parliament building.