The Georgian Parliament has approved a “State Strategy on Relations with the Peoples of North Caucasus,” Civil.Ge reported. The document outlines priority areas through which Tbilisi intends to improve its ties with the region, ranging from trade and economy to people-to-people contacts, education, healthcare, and human rights. Lawmakers said the strategy was designed to solidify Tbilisi’s “soft power” approach in the region. Earlier, in his speech at the UN General Assembly in 2010, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had called for a “united Caucasus.” The new strategy paper stated that Georgia was ready to provide assistance to human rights activists from the North Caucasus, including by spreading information worldwide about the “real state of affairs” in the region in respect of human rights. The strategy document has a chapter on “Support for Defining Historical Truth,” which states that “the people of Caucasus have repeatedly fallen victim to ethnic cleansing, deportation, and genocide by the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, and that this should be a subject of historical and legal research and clear historical evaluation.” Georgia would support the study of these issues in detail, including providing information and facts about these crimes to the international community. Ghia Nodia, Professor at Tbilisi’s Ilia State University and former education minister in President Saakashvili’s government, said the main goal was to change societal attitudes. In the event of a new conflict, Georgia should work towards a situation where the people in North Caucasus did not join the Russian side, he stated. http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/208963/
The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.
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