Georgian Human and Civil Rights Committee Chair Tours Akhalkalak

(Combined Sources)–The chair of Georgia’s parliamentary human and civil rights committee visited the Georgian city of Akhalkalak on Monday to review the social and economic problems of residents. The city is located in the region of Javakhk–where 90 percent of the population is Armenian.

Elena Tevdoradze met with the leadership of region–as well as representatives of Javakhk’s Council of Armenian Non-Governmental Organizations.

The Council–which to date has organized two public forums titled Integration Not Assimilation–handed to Tevdoradze two powerful resolutions adopted by those meetings.

The Council representatives also conveyed that the social and economic decay of the region is unbearable–stressing that full social–political–socioeconomic–and cultural integration is a necessity.

The Council has consistently stressed–both to Georgian authorities–as well as to the Council of Europe (CE)–that integration is not synonymous with assimilation–and that autonomy is a must for the struggling region.

They have also pointed to Georgia’s failure to fulfill obligations before the CE since becoming a member in April 1999–including reforms concerning national minorities–local self governance–and autonomy.

The Council members invited Tevdoradze to a third public forum–currently in the planning stages. She will be revisiting the region in September.

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