Georgia Offers New Peace Plan for Abkhazia President Saakashvili Proposes “Unlimited Autonomy,” with the Highest-Level Political Representation, Legislative Veto Rights & a Free Economic Zone


On March 28, President Mikheil Saakashvili proposed a sweeping new peace plan for the separatist territory of Abkhazia.

"There are no issues that we and the Abkhazians cannot solve through negotiations," he declared. "Unlimited autonomy, wide federalism, and very serious representation in the central governmental bodies of Georgia-all will be guaranteed, with the support of international guarantors." The only issue not on the table, the President emphasized, was the "disintegration of Georgia."

The new initiative builds on Georgia's 2006 peace proposal to the separatist authorities in Sokhumi. Among the highlights of the plan announced today are:

·Broad political representation for the Abkhaz, including a new post of Vice President of Georgia to be occupied by an Abkhazian.

·The right to veto legislation related to the constitutional status of Abkhazia, and to issues related to Abkhaz culture, language, and ethnicity.

·The establishment of a joint Free Economic Zone in the Gali region, including the sea port of Ochamchire.

·International guarantees of Abkhaz autonomy and an offer to Russia to help mediate a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

"The international community has developed a body of legal and political examples to accommodate minority demands within the context of national sovereignty," President Saakashvili said. "Constitutions enshrine rights and mutual obligations. After all, this is one of the great achievements of the European Union. Its foundation is the belief that democracy and prosperity provide room for all. That is what we are in the process of achieving in Georgia."

The Georgian government also has asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to undertake a throough review of the current peacekeeping format, with an eye to its radical reform.


1.Broad political representation at the highest levels of the Georgian government: The President offered the Abkhaz a series of political rights, including:

·The right to occupy the post of Vice President of Georgia, which will be created specifically for the Abkhaz;

·Guaranteed representation in all main Georgian government bodies, including Parliament and all ministries, as well as in local government.

2.Veto rights on all major legislation related to Abkhazia. Abkhazian representatives will retain the right to veto all decisions related to Abkhazia's constitutional status, and to the preservation and further development of Abkhazian culture, language, and ethnicity.

3.The establishment of a jointly controlled Free Economic Zone: The zones would be in the region of Gali and would include areas that have been depopulated due to the conflict, as well as the sea port of Ochamchire, would be controlled by Abkhazian and Georgian authorities, without any other outside parties.

4.The gradual merger of Abkhazian and Georgian law enforcement agencies and customs services.

5.International guarantees to ensure wide federalism, unlimited autonomy, and security: The President offered absolute security guarantees to the Abkhaz authorities, and called for international community to play a fundamental role in ensuring these guarantees. He also invited the Russian Federation "to move from being a party in the conflict towards becoming a mediator in the conflict, together with other members of the international community."

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia

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