Paata Zakareishvili, the state minister for reintegration, said on Friday that President Saakashvili was dragging out approval of proposed renaming of his ministry.
In January 2008, when the State Ministry for Conflict Resolution Issues was renamed as the State Ministry for Reintegration, the new name angered both Sokhumi and Tskhinvali; at the time officials from both breakaway regions even warned that they would not have engaged in talks with Georgian state minister in charge of “reintegration.” In July, 2008 President Saakashvili gave status of his special envoy for conflict resolution issues to then state minister for reintegration Temur Yakobashvili.
Zakareishvili said that he was criticizing renaming of the state ministry back in 2008 and after he himself became the state minister for reintegration in late October, 2012, he had “contacts with the Abkhaz and Ossetian sides” and he “even promised them” to changed the name of the ministry.
President Saakashvili, however, is not signing proposal approved by the government in November, Zakareishvili said. He said he was not aware of reasons behind dragging out of this process because the President had not even given either negative or positive response to the proposal.
Zakareishvili declined to reveal proposed new name for his ministry, citing willingness to avoid a potential controversy about the name, as well as possible negative reaction from Sokhumi and Tskhinvali to the new name, which is not yet even formally authorized.
“We maximally tried to select a neutral name,” he said.
He suggested that failure to achieve renaming of the ministry was hampering his contacts with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.