'On the issue of the Georgian-Abkhaz dialogue' – an appeal from Georgian intellectuals
Civil society representatives in Georgia have issued an open letter title “On the issue of the Georgian-Abkhaz dialogue”, in which they called on Sukhumi and Tbilisi to deepen cooperation.
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Since Aslan Bzhania became the new leader of Abkhazia, Alexandr Ankvab and Sergei Shamba have gained key senior positions, and Sokhumi has publicly reiterated a call for a direct dialogue with Tbilisi. In their public statements, both Bzhania and Shamba have referred to prospective topics for direct dialogue such as cooperation in the energy sector, trade, economy, freedom of movement, etc.
In addition, in December 2020, Sokhumi adopted a ‘foreign policy concept’, devoting an entire chapter to the Georgian-Abkhaz relationship. The document, among others, includes a section that, in parallel to the Geneva International Discussions, considers the possibility of establishing a bilateral dialogue format with Tbilisi.
The Government of Georgia has expressed a positive attitude towards Sokhumi’s call for a direct dialogue. On national and international platforms, Georgia has repeatedly stated its position of being in favor of resolving the conflicts only by peaceful means. Nonetheless, without specific and reciprocal offers from the Government of Georgia and a direct dialogue with Sokhumi, conflict transformation can hardly take place.
We, representatives of civil society, highly appreciate the readiness of Tbilisi and Sokhumi to engage in a peace dialogue and call on the Government of Georgia to take meaningful steps towards launching a direct dialogue with the Abkhaz society and political leaders. We also express our willingness to support this crucial process with our experience and resources.
We believe that direct dialogue will contribute to the making of mutually beneficial decisions and the normalization of the Georgian-Abkhaz relationship.