Temur Iakobashvili, the state minister-designate dealing with the Abkhaz and South Ossetian conflicts, said he would pursue “a multi-vector approach.”
Iakobashvili, an executive vice-president of an influential think-tank, Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS), is slated to take charge of the State Ministry for Reintegration Issues – formerly known as the State Ministry for Conflict Resolution Issues.
“We should return not only territory, but people as well – we have not only lost Abkhazian territory, we have also lost the Abkhazians,” Iakobashvili told Civil.Ge on January 25. “I think we will have a multi-vector approach. We will try to have direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and Ossetians, and dialogue with the Russians and the international community, too.”
He said his priority would be an increased EU and U.S. role in the conflict resolution process. “Europe should be, [in the event of integration into a united Georgia], the guarantor for Sokhumi and Tskhinvali of ethnic survival and development.”
He said he would, after his approval as Minister, submit a concrete action plan, which, he said, would evolve following wide-ranging consultation involving pundits and officials familiar with the issues. He said he would even consider consulting Giorgi Khaindrava, a former state minister for conflict resolution issues (2004-2006) and a current opposition politician.
Iakobashvili, and some other new ministerial candidates, have already appeared before parliamentary committees. The hearings will continue for another four days, with a confidence vote following on January 30. Opposition lawmakers are boycotting the hearings.