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Congress of Georgians: agenda, delegates, guests2009-01-19 22:36
On February 2 Moscow will host the second Congress of Georgians in Russia on the initiative of President of the Union of Georgians Mikhail Khubutia. Tbilisi media hurriedly reported: "No consent was given to Khubutia from Georgia".
Is it true that nobody there wants to see their compatriots in Russia even to discuss common problems anymore?
We dialed Mikhail Khuburia's number to have a detailed explanation:
The distribution of invitations began on January 15. Except for famous Georgians living in Russia - businessmen, science and culture people, Moscow is expecting guests from Tbilisi. As we are told 400 replies have already been received with the consent to take part in the congress by today. Generally these are the Diaspora representatives in Russia.
As for the guests from Georgia contrary to the information of the Georgian press oral consent to participate in the event was given by State Minister for Diaspora issues Iulon Gagoshidze. We are left to wonder why the Georgian media reported on his rejection (with reference to the administration). Indeed Culture Minister Nika Rurua declined the invitation.
There is a preliminary consent of Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev. The visit of Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili to Moscow is impossible due to the breakdown of diplomatic relations. But as soon as this obstacle is removed the Georgian Diaspora will be happy to have a talk with Georgia's leader.
As for the agenda - there will be no political issue on it. What will be discussed are current problems of Georgians living in the Russian Federation. In particular after the breakdown of the diplomatic relations between two countries the problem of entry visas preparation and prolongation as well as obtainment of work permits has become more aggravated.
Besides the return of refugees left homeless as a result of numerous military conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia of the 90s remains a severe issue.
The topic of resumption of air communication between the countries and return of Georgian products on the Russian market is urgent too.
The congress initiators are inspired by personal presence of Ilia II, the Orthodox Church Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.
One of those days he will take part in enthronement of a newly elected Patriarch of All Russia.
It is instructive to recall that following the August events Ilia II first came to Moscow in late December in order to bid farewell to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexei II.