Parliamentary committee for diaspora and Caucasian issues will hold first public discussion of Georgia’s draft State Strategy on Relations with the Peoples of North Caucasus on May 2.
The 18-page document, which is a draft version, outlines priority areas through which Tbilisi intends to boost its ties with the North Caucasus region ranging from trade and economy to people-to-people contacts, education, healthcare and human rights.
Need for deepening ties with people of North Caucasus is also discussed in Georgia’s national security concept approved in December, which mentions the issue in the portion where ties with Russia are discussed.
The draft strategy has a separate chapter titled “Promoting establishment of historical truth” in which the document says that in the tsarist Russia, as well as in the Soviet times peoples of the North Caucasus became victims of “ethnic cleansing, deportation and genocide” for number of times, which should become a subject for thorough “historical and legal research” and each of these cases should be given “explicit and firmly justified historical assessment.”
According to the draft document, Georgia will support thorough research of these cases, as well as pushing the issue of “legal research of crimes committed against the peoples of the North Caucasus in the international organizations.”
Last year Georgia became the only country, which has recognized the 19th century massacre and deportations of Circassians by the tsarist Russia in the northwest Caucasus as “genocide”. This year the Georgian authorities plan to open a memorial in Anaklia on the Black Sea coast to commemorate the victims of those events.
The draft strategy also says that Georgia is ready to provide assistance to human rights activists from the North Caucasus, including through spreading information worldwide about “real state of affairs” in the region in respect of human rights.