Day of Apkhazeti
29 May, 2014
Day of Apkhazeti
At the initiative and blessing of His Holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II, 23rd of May is now marked as Apkhazetoba or Apkhazeti Day. Various events were held on this occasion. One of the events took place in children's park Mziuri, in the park of stones. A stone dedicated to famous persons was erected with the names of well-known public figures, religious personalities, athletes, writers, artists and medical professional inscribed. The event was solemnly opened by the Acting Chairman
of the Government of Apkhazeti, Vakhtang Kolbaia. During the event both Georgian and Apkhaz songs were performed.
The government of Apkhazeti conducted a public poll during the previous months, in order to identify the most prominent personalities of all time. 13 persons were selected by a majority. Later, at the initiative of the Patriarchate of Georgia and the Sokhumi State University, a scientific conference devoted to Apkhazeti took place in the Patriarchate. After the conference the new video clip “Apkhazeti - beauty of Georgia” was presented.
Apkhazeti is a disputed territory on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus. It considers itself as an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia. This status is recognized only by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, and also by the partially recognized state of “South Ossetia.” The Georgian government and the majority of the world's governments consider Apkhazeti to be part of Georgia, though Georgia is not in control of it. Under Georgia's official designation, it is an autonomous republic, called the Autonomous Republic of Apkhazeti. It’s government sits in exile in Tbilisi. The status of Apkhazeti is a central issue of the Georgian–Apkhaz conflict. The wider region formed part of the Soviet Union until 1991. As the Soviet Union began to disintegrate towards the end of the 1980s, ethnic tensions grew between Apkhazeti and Georgians over Georgia's moves towards independence. This led to the 1992–1993 War in Apkhazeti that resulted in a Georgian military defeat, de facto independence of Apkhazeti and mass exodus and ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population from Apkhazeti. In spite of the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the status dispute has not been resolved, and despite the long-term presence of a United Nations monitoring force and a Russian-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) peacekeeping operation, the conflict has flared up on several occasions. In August 2008, the sides again fought during the South Ossetia War, which was followed by the formal recognition of Apkhazeti “independence” by Russia, the annulment of the 1994 ceasefire agreement and the termination of the UN and OSCE missions. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia passed a resolution declaring Apkhazeti a Russian-occupied territory. The major part of the international community considers Apkhazeti to be occupied by Russian military. Russia does not allow EUMM monitors to enter Apkhazeti.
The big wish of all Georgians is the return of Apkhazeti to Georgia and I hope this dream will come true very soon.

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