On 28 March, 2008 the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, visited the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies.

President Saakashvili, speaking within an international workshop – “The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Processes of Reintegration in Georgia”, organized by the Office of the Georgian State Minister for Reintegration, unveiled a series of new proposals designed to resolve the Abkhazian conflict. A joint free economic zone, Abkhaz representation in the central government with an Abkhaz vice-president, the right to veto all Abkhaz-related decisions, unlimited autonomy and various security guarantees were amongst the newly proposed initiatives.

Temuri Yakobashvili, the Georgian State Minister for Reintegration and the former Executive Vice-President of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Stdudies, opened the two-day workshop.  First-day presentations featured remarks by Mr. Oliver Wolleh, of the Berghof Foundation (Berlin) and Mr. Jonathan Cohen, of the Conciliation Resources (London).  The program for the second day included presentations by Mr. Paata Zakareishvili on the topic of Georgian-Abkhaz relations and plans for possible co-operation, Dr. Archil Gegeshidze on the topic of the prospects for a revitalization of the dialogue and the peace process, Mr. Rezo Bendeliani on mixed Georgian-Abkhaz families and Mr. Lasha Tughushi on the economic situation in Abkhazia.  Concluding remarks were delivered by Mr. Yakobashvili.

The workshop was attended by representatives from Georgian civil society, civil servants, experts and specialists in conflict issues and members of the Georgian media.

Visit of the President Mikheil Saakashvili, March 28, 2008