The parliamentary committee for relations with compatriots residing abroad is being renamed into the committee for Diaspora and Caucasus Issues with a purpose to reflect Tbilisi’s focus on Caucasian policy.
The parliament adopted a relevant amendment to the parliament’s regulations with its second and third hearing on December 15.
According to the explanatory note, attached to the draft, the necessity of amendment was triggered after “the issue of Caucasian solidarity became active”, as well as by the need “to develop unified Caucasian policy.”
Also on December 15, the same parliamentary committee said that it had been approached by a group from Russia's Dagestan Republic, representing Dido ethnic group, residing in the western part of that North Caucasus republic at the Georgian border.
Citing cultural oppression by the Russian authorities, the group reportedly submitted to the Georgian Parliament petition with 15,000 signatures of Didos, requesting for "entering Dido people into the jurisdiction of Georgia."
Magomed Gamzatov, described as chairman of the organization, Revival, which reportedly is behind the petition, told journalists in the Georgian Parliament on December 15, that civil, political and cultural rights of the Dido people in Dagestan were violated.
A lawmaker from the ruling party, Nugzar Tsiklauri, who chairs the Parliamentary Committee on Diaspora and Caucasus Issues, stressed that considering any border changes was "impossible and inadmissible". He, however, said Tbilisi would provide assistance to Didos in Dagestan by pushing thier concerns internationally.
According to Russia's official 2002 census data total of 15,200 Didos reside in the Russian Federation, mainly in Dagestan Republic. Other estimations put the figure at 27,000.