Main » 2009 » November » 11 » We need a political dialogue between Georgia, Samtskhe-Javakhk-Tsalka and Armenia
We need a political dialogue between Georgia, Samtskhe-Javakhk-Tsalka and Armenia
The Armenian-populated region of Samtskhe-Javakhk-Tsalka is burdened with a number of unresolved problems which feed lasting tensions in relations between Armenia and Georgia. Although the local Armenian population mainly raises the issue of the status of their mother tongue, or the persecution of the Armenian Church and activists, there are many other problems in Samtskhe-Javakhk-Tsalka, such as in the fields of education, public health care and employment. Combined, they have all lead to a situation where the Armenians of Samtskhe-Javakhk-Tsalka are obliged to make their living elsewhere, thus contributing to the process of de-Armenization of their homeland. Those who manage to overcome the daily hardships spare no efforts to change the state of affairs and live a dignified life.
Conditions in Samtskhe-Javakhk-Tsalka provide for a real risk of a new conflict in the Caucasus. For quite some time, the leadership of the Republic of Armenia has been trying to soothe the growing Armenian-Georgian disagreements. However, the official policy carried out by Tbilisi has not been aimed at solving the problems. Moreover, the anti-Armenian stance of the Georgian authorities has further fuelled the animosity between the two peoples.
The only solution to the current situation is a political dialogue between Armenians and Georgians. In recent years, there have been several attempts at such discussions through non-governmental institutions in the two countries. But the result of this non-governmental cooperation has caused us to regard these attempts as failed. If we want to prevent new military clashes in the Caucasus a new political dialogue between political actors in Georgia, Samtskhe-Javakhk-Tsalka and Armenia is needed. If we don’t want that dialogue to be another non-governmental endeavor, we need to involve mediators with high international standing. These can be for example European human rights organizations or international centers which have interests in the region.
Otherwise, we will witness a new confrontation on the Armenia-Georgia border that can change the political landscape of the region. What’s more, irrespective of the outcome of a war (although it is thoroughly foreseeable), both Georgia and Armenia will face some grave problems that will be mainly determined by the urge of other regional countries to make use of the opportunity for themselves.
I'm not the best speller in English (just ask my third-grader;) but I think the correct spelling of Mr. Hrant's name would be "Grant Melik-Shakhnazarian" - again, this is a free country, everybody is choosing their spelling as they wish.