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