Irakli Alasania, the Georgia’s UN envoy, said Tbilisi should now have three foreign policy priorities, involving pushing non-recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; integration into Europe and providing mechanisms for preserving property under displaced persons’ ownership in Abkhazia.
“We should become inseparable part of Europe’s security architecture,” he said in an interview with the Georgian daily 24 Saati (24 Hours).
“There is need to show to our western allies that Georgia is becoming genuinely democratic country. Those goals, declared by the Georgian President at the UN General Assembly, should be implemented in practice.”
“It is of vital importance to create such an institutional system of decision-making, which will rule out unilateral decisions and will reduce threat of Georgia’s involvement in provocations,” he added.
Alasania said that although now Georgia enjoyed with international support in respect of non-recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Georgian diplomacy “will have to carry out serious work” to further maintain this trend of non-recognition.
He also said that Tbilisi should have been more vigorous in its efforts to engage in direct talks with the Abkhaz side.
“I think there was a possibility for deepening dialogue with the Abkhaz side, which would have reduced the threat of resumption of military confrontation,” he said. “Both the Abkhaz and the Georgian sides have lost many opportunities in recent years. Of course there were deterrent factors, including the major one – series of the Russian-orchestrated provocations; but I think that we should have undertaken more efforts for direct talks [with the Abkhaz side].”
He said that “a very dangerous trend” had emerged recently in Abkhazia, involving “purchase of property of displaced persons through legal means.”
“There are persons, organizations, which are trying to purchase for a very considerable prices property in [the Abkhaz] tourist areas through direct talks with the owners of those properties,” Alasania said. “I think, that a meaningful program should be developed by the authorities to prevent this trend and in order to avoid a situation, wherein displaced persons face this very terrible moral choice and in order to help them maintain property [in Abkhazia].”