New Foreign Minister: We Cannot Forget Abashidze-Karasin Format

Georgia’s new Foreign Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, has said the restoration of Georgian territorial integrity will be his main goal as the leader of the structure.

Kvirikashvili believes in standing against the ongoing occupation of Georgia’s territory. He also believes that achieving a dialogue between Georgia and Russia is necessary. He has stated, however, that this dialogue cannot be expanded past mere dialogue,.

“For a country with violated territorial integrity and invasion problems, the foreign policy will never be of secondary importance,” the new Minister stated.

According to Kvirikashvili, humanitarian and economic issues have been discussed within the Abashidze-Karasin format. He said “from my point of view, it is impossible to expand the format as there are political issues beyond it. The Geneva format is for political discussions, which need to be maintained as effectively as possible.”

The Minister believes communication with Georgia’s most powerful opponent is more important than leaving it alone, stating: “Therefore, I cannot accept the criticism that the Abashidze-Karasin format should be abolished.”

The dialogue format set up after the 2012 elections had the Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative, Zurab Abashidze, meet with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Gregory Karasin. The format received heavy criticism from the Georgian public for apparently conceding Georgian interests, as Russia currently occupies 20% of Georgian sovereign territory. At time of print, Russian forces continue their creeping occupation in the Shida Kartli region, where a number of Georgian citizens have been kidnapped by occupation forces. 

17 September 2015 20:53