Does Georgian region plan to recognize "Armenian genocide"?
On April 24, members of the representative body (Sakrebulo) of the Akhalkalak region of Georgia, where 99% of the population are ethnic Armenians, will gather for an emergency meeting. Last Tuesday, the initiative group of Sakrebulo deputies appealed to the chairman of Sakrebulo, demanding to convene a meeting to discuss the issue of "Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire."
They have already prepared a draft resolution, which describes the events of 1915 as "a crime, which has already been condemned by developed countries, international organizations, individual regions and cities of different countries." "In order to restore historical justice, Sakrebulo of the Akhalkalaki municipality must recognize and condemn this crime," their statement says.
Vestnik Kavkaza tried to get a comment from Sakrebulo itself or the Akhalkalaki district administration to no avail. All interlocutors confirmed that there was a proposal to convene a meeting of the representative body, but refrained from making predictions or comments. There's no 100% confirmation that this meeting will actually take place on this day and with such agenda.
It's easy to explain the silence of local and regional officials - they feel that everything associated with the meeting of the Akhalkalaki region's Sakrebulo is fully within the competence of central authorities, since this issue is of political, even geopolitical significance and can affect Georgia's relations with neighboring states.
Tbilisi has comment on the initiative of local deputies calmly. MP from the "Georgian Dream" ruling coalition Giorgi Gachechiladze expressed doubt such meeting is possible. "I doubt that this issue will be reviewed at the meeting and, moreover, that any decision will be made," he said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza. According to him, Georgia's constitution, the code of local self-government and other documents "don't give regional representative body an authority to add such issues to the agenda and resolve them." Gachechiladze stressed several times during the conversation that holding a meeting with such agenda "is absolutely impossible and unrealistic."