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Georgia declares passport war2012-01-30 20:32
Official Tbilisi promises wide autonomy to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Head of the foreign policy administration Grigol Vashadze has stated from PACE rostrum that Georgia is ready to become a federative center. It is planned to issue neutral passports to attract the Abkhaz and Ossetians so that the citizens of these republics could travel abroad.
"They will be able to get autonomy of the Jewish type implied by any European constitution. This is no good will of ours; we are obliged to do it by law", - Grigol Vashadze stated. He promised that Tbilisi would do everything possible "not to leave Abkhazia and South Ossetia in isolation" and to provide education and an access to medical care to local residents on a par with "other citizens of Georgia".
It is the first time in the last three years and a half after the August-2008 conflict that the issue of an autonomy status for Abkhazia and South Ossetia is aired by Georgian politicians. For the whole of this period, Tbilisi has been trying to set up a dialogue with the Caucasian republics through the "involvement via cooperation" strategy. But in vain - the new states on the South-Caucasian map characterized as "occupied territories" in the document would not admit identification with Georgia.
The "autonomy strategy" (let us call it this way) implies new "bait": neutral passports for the citizens of Abkhazia and South Ossetia for travelling abroad, including to Georgia. For the young, education at the expense of the president's fund and other official governmental programs is offered. The Georgian parliament adopted relevant amendments to the law in summer. The new passport looks like the old one, with a number and a photograph. However, it bears no national emblems and other attributes of belonging to this or that state. Tbilisi says that getting this document does not mean getting the Georgian citizenship.