OSCE Official to Visit Javakhk

TBILISI (Noyan Tapan)–The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s national minorities department Rolf Ikeus was scheduled to arrive in Georgian Wednesday for series of evaluation on the issue of national minorities in that country.

The OSCE leader will also visit the Javakhk region of Georgia–where a large number of Armenia’s call home and a contentious Russian military base still employs a large percentage of the population.

One of the key issues to be addressed during Ikeus’ visit will be a proposed plan to repatriate Meskheti Turks in southern Georgia–from where they were deported during the Stalin regime.

This poses a larger problem of ethnic unrest–if the Meskhetis resettle in the largely Armenian-populated region. This issue was addressed by the Armenian delegation attending a summit of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Community late last year–where Armen Rustamian–one of the delegates representing Armenia brought forth security and safety concerns regarding the Armenian population in Javakhk.

The OSCE leader will also meet with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze–parliament speaker Nino Bourdjanatse and other leaders.

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