Government to offer benefits and services to people living in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions
04 April, 2018
 Government to offer benefits and services to people living in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions
The government of Georgia has approved a new peaceful initiative – a Step toward a Better Future, involving three main directions.

The State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili stated at a news briefing on Wednesday the government is going to implement these initiatives in order to improve the humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people living in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, attain tangible benefits, promote contacts, free movement and relations across the dividing
lines, based on mutual interests.
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The State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili

“Today, the Government of Georgia today makes an open and determined statement that its peaceful policy is unwavering and the existing challenges are to be dealt with peace, development, principled stance, consistency and concrete steps”, - said Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality.
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Occupation line in Georgia's Tskhinvali Region

The State Minister said that this package of draft legislative amendments is a new, proactive and important step in the frames of peace policy of reconciliation and engagement. Its top priority is peace, confidence building between communities divided by the conflict and care of the population, which is suffering from the gravity of the unresolved confliction either side of dividing lines on a daily basis".
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The peace initiative – a Step toward a Better Future envisages amendments to nine legislative acts

The State Minister explained that the package of legislative amendments, which the Government of Georgia submits to the Parliament, covers three main directions: Encourage, expand and simplify trade across dividing lines through creating new opportunities; Create additional opportunities for quality education and simplify access to all levels of education both internally and internationally; To ease an access of the population of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia to various services and benefits. Including an introduction of a status-neutral mechanism of identification with a personal number for the residents of the two regions that does not relate to citizenship but enables to access a range of different services. Apart from it, for those interested, a simplification of establishing a Georgian citizenship as well as concrete civil facts is also envisaged.
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Georgia's occupied Tskhinvali Region

The peace initiative – a Step toward a Better Future envisages amendments to nine legislative acts.

German Ambassador welcomes Georgian government’s peace initiative. I support the initiatives that promote the improvement of the living conditions of the people living on both sides of the administrative border, - Heike Peitsch, Ambassador of Germany to Georgia, has said in a written statement.

As reported by the German Embassy, Hayek Pahich responded to the Georgian government’s new initiative – a “Step to a Better Future" presented at today’s Cabinet meeting.
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German Ambassador welcomes Georgian government’s peace initiative

"I welcome that the Government of Georgia approved the package of measures "A Step to a Better Future ", which will be submitted to the Parliament for further discussion. By this [initiative]the Government of Georgia, headed by Prime Minister Kvirikshvili, confirms its braveness and far-sightedness. As the ambassador of the country, which has been separated for more than 40 years, I welcome and support those initiatives that will promote the improvement of the living conditions of the people living on both sides of the administrative border. The Embassy will closely monitor the process of discussion of the package in Parliament,” – the statement reads.
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Abkhazia, Georgia's breakaway region

The government of Georgia has approved a new peaceful initiative – a Step to a Better Future, involving three main directions: encourage, expand and simplify trade across dividing lines through creating new opportunities; Create additional opportunities for quality education and simplify access to all levels of education both internally and internationally; To ease an access of the population of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia to various services and benefits. Including an introduction of a status-neutral mechanism of identification with a personal number for the residents of the two regions that does not relate to citizenship but enables to access a range of different services. Apart from it, for those interested, a simplification of establishing a Georgian citizenship as well as concrete civil facts is also envisaged.

Related stories:

Occupation and presence of Russian troops in occupied regions remain main threat to Georgian state

Georgian soldier's death in occupied Tskhinvali Region discussed as the main theme at Geneva talks

US experts say direct dialogue to create threat of de-facto legitimization of Tskhinvali and Sokhumi

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