Armenians Of Southern Georgian Region Seek Autonomy


Aug 20 2008

"Georgia’s only way is federative country"

The board of non-governmental organizations of Armenians in [Georgia’s]
Samtskhe-Javakhk [Samtskhe-Javakhketi] and Kvemo Kartveli has issued a
statement, which says in particular: "It is apparent that the civilian
population suffers most from the attempts to settle inter-ethnic
issues by military methods. We, the public representatives of the
Armenians in Samtskhe-Javakhk and Kvemo Kartveli regions, being
concerned about peace and stability and the future of our country,
believe that in order to restore Georgia’s territorial integrity
and sovereignty in a stable and democratic way, in order to settle
the current ethnic problems fairly, Georgia should be a federation
consisting of regional units and central government."

The statement also says that "Samtskhe-Javakhk, with its current
borders, and those neighboring villages of Kvemo Kartveli that are
predominantly populated by Armenians should be reorganized as an
autonomous region within the federative Georgian state, granting it
substantial self-governing rights." The statement then concludes:
"We realize that this statement will not be accepted in the same way
by everybody: there will be attempts to misinterpret and exploit
it. But we, being citizens who are concerned about the fate of
Georgia, had to repeat this truth we have been voicing for years. We
will be led exclusively by the interests of Georgia and its part of
Samtskhe-Javakhk. The memory of those killed in the recent clashes
calls for this, this is what Georgia’s future calls for."

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