Javakhk Leader Discusses Autonomy

AKHALKALAK–Georgia (A-Info–Noyan Tapan)–During an interview Wednesday–the leader of the "Javakhk" movement said that the concept of autonomy comes from the people–adding that another region of Georgia–Adjaria–is geographically a smaller territory but nevertheless has the autonomy to self govern.

Torosian added that the population of Javakhk has sought autonomy since 1917–however–political officials have always been opposed to that concept.

"In our opinion Javakhk must be autonomous within Georgia," announced the community leader.

The "Javakhk" movement leader said the issue can be resolved by the Georgian authorities through dialogue and negotiations with the leadership of Javakhk.

He added that sentimen’s in the country seem to indicate that the new Georgian constitution would make Armenia’s northern neighbor a federation and autonomy for Javakhk under that composition would be the logical solution–both for the betterment of Georgia and for the resolution of socio-economic problems.

He stressed that this call for autonomy should not be viewed as a separatist movement nor should it signal any animosity toward the Georgian people. On the contrary–he explained–autonomy for Javakhk would reinforce the Georgian government’s trust in its citizens.

President Robert Kocharian said the social and economic difficulties of Armenia’s of Samtskhe-Javakhetia are the result of the created situation in Georgia as a whole–reported the Noyan Tapan news agency.

"It is inadmissible for social problems to turn ethnic," said the president in response to a correspondent’s statement that the Samtskhe-Javakhetia Armenia’s say that they are becoming victims of economic and political pressure on the part of Georgian authorities. According to Kocharian–the tradition of a sincere dialogue concerning the problems of Georgian Armenia’s was established long ago between Armenia and Georgia. "We usually find solutions to all complicated and delicate issues," he said.

The president added that the destiny of his compatriots living in Georgia is in the care of the Armenian authorities–and Armenia expresses readiness to help solve the problem of the Armenian-populated areas of Georgia.

In his words–the Georgian leadership is ready to do its best to solve the social and economic problems of the region–the issues of development of infrastructure–to promote the integration of the region into the public life of Georgia. "We have constant contacts with Georgia–and there is mutual understanding," said Kocharian.

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