Georgia says no more military action against S. Ossetia, Abkhazia

The Georgian government has adopted a new strategy toward S. Ossetia and Abkhazia which excludes any use of military force against its former breakaway regions.

The document, which calls for peaceful means of conflict resolution and increased cooperation with the residents of the two regions, will be sent in the near future to a number of international organizations, including the UN, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

“Georgia does not want to restore its territorial integrity by military means,” Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
He said Georgian citizens who reside in Abkhazia and South Ossetia should not be isolated but instead integrated in all processes and projects which are underway in Georgia.

“We plan to take active steps to provide the local populations [of the two regions] with the opportunity to have a normal education, health care, and to engage in economic projects,” he said.

Georgia and Russia fought a five-day war in August 2008 over South Ossetia, which was attacked by Tbilisi in an attempt to bring it back under central control. Moscow later recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

Under mutual assistance treaties signed in November 2008, Russia pledged to help both republics protect their borders, and the signatories granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.

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