Shevardnadze Pledges Support for Javakhk Armenians

TBILISI (Armenpress)–Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze pledged to pay "special attention" to the needs of the Armenian population of Javakhk–announced the presidential representative in the region Teymouraz Mosiashvili–who added that the Georgian leader was in the process of evaluating ways to resolve several issues facing the community there.

According to Prime News–Mosiashvili announced that problems in Javakhk may be resolved–however–Georgia’s limited financial resources must be taken into consideration.

Meanwhile–Georgian parliament member Anzor Tamarshvili said Wednesday that Georgia should not allow any Meshkheti Turks to settle in Javakhk–as has been proposed by the European Parliament.

"During the time that Meshkheti Turks lived in Georgia–they were involved in murder and looting–and today they are talking about returning to their familiar territory," Tamarshvili told Prime News.

After being admitted to the Council of Europe in 1999–Georgia was forced to repopulate some 70,000 Meshkheti Turks–by 2012–who were deported from Georgia during the 1940’s.

The OSCE High Commissioner on national minorities Rolf Ikeus arrived in Tbilisi Wednesday for a three-day visit. In addition to meetings with Georgia’s president and parliament speaker–the OSCE official plans to visit to southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti–with predominant Armenian population and a Russian military base–deployed there since the Soviet times.

The official will also consider the issue of return of Meskhetian Turks–deported by Joseph Stalin from some parts of southern Georgia in 1943-1944.

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