The Georgian government called Sunday on its “brothers” in its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to work with it to build a single, peaceful democratic state.
In a statement marking the 30th anniversary of the start of the Abkhazia war, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said his government is in favor of a peaceful solution to the country’s longstanding problems with territorial integrity.
“I firmly believe that our peace policy, oriented towards mutual respect and dialogue, brings closer the day when we, together with our Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers, will continue to build a single, strong, peace-loving, democratic state that will create all the conditions for maintaining and strengthening the security, well-being and identity of every citizen,” said Garibashvili.
“The most dramatic event in our recent history, the confrontation between brothers, brought unjustified destruction, turned hundreds of thousands of people into refugees in their own homeland, and, the saddest thing, claimed the lives of many of our fellow citizens on both sides – soldiers and civilians,” he added.
A 13-month conflict erupted in August 1992 between the Georgian army and Abkhazian separatists supported by Russia.
In 2008, a five-day conflict referred to as the South Ossetia conflict broke out between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Tbilisi ultimately lost control of both areas and Russia later recognized them as independent states.
In response, Georgia cut off diplomatic relations with Russia, after which Switzerland took up the role of mediator country.
Both regions remain internationally recognized Georgian territories.