On his recent visit to France, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili gave a talk at the Paris Institute of Political Science, where he sought to paint a picture of his regime being a bastion of democracy in the Caucuses.
The Nor Seround members asked him when his government was going to stop its policies of discrimination and repression against Armenians, and heed the calls of the UN Human Rights Committee and Council of Europe to promote the participation of national minorities in the political and cultural life of Georgia.
Regrettably, Saakashvili’s response was one of arrogance and ignorance, claiming that Armenians in Javakhk were satisfied with their conditions and that everything was fine. Such a detachment from reality and denial of the facts has been a sad hallmark of Georgian state policy.
This head-in-the-sand approach is ill-advised and can only lead to greater discontent and tension. It is high time for Saakashvili to live up to his rhetoric of democracy, end the repression against activists in Javakhk and ensure equal representation and cultural rights for the Armenian population.