Commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia

Commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia
27 October 2020 256

S. Zurabishvili, the Georgian President again acted as the defender of the Abkhaz language, which is “under the threat of extinction”. Mrs. Zurabishvili is trying to assure the public that this problem is the most difficult and responsible for her. “I am responsible for protecting of the Abkhaz language as the president of Georgia and the guarantor of its constitution. Especially at a time when the Abkhaz language is included in the list of endangered languages by UNESCO,” Zurabishvili said.
It is characteristic that S. Zurabishvili is considering some possibility of ensuring the protection of the Abkhaz language without the existence of the Abkhaz state. In her opinion, it is best to preserve the native language without any statehood. It is enough to take a number of simple actions, for example, publish the Georgian-Abkhaz version of the updated constitution of Georgia or publish the bilingual literary magazine.
The President of Georgia apparently does not think on the fact that the preservation of the Abkhaz language, with all the existing difficulties, can best ensure precisely the existence of the Abkhaz statehood and the Abkhaz ethnos, which for many years have been the subjected to various kinds of discrimination and oppression, the apogee of which was Georgia's actions to carry out the genocide of the Abkhaz people in 1992-1993.
To a large extent, the difficulties associated with the preservation and development of the Abkhaz language are provoked by the long-term policy of the Georgian leadership to destroy any signs of the identity of the Abkhaz people, their cultural and traditional values.
Meanwhile, the ideas voiced by S. Zurabishvili are more consistent with the policy of the central government to protect the language of some autonomous republic or region. In this regard, it should be recalled that the Republic of Abkhazia has long gone through the stage of autonomous existence within Georgia and today is developing as an independent state. The people of Abkhazia do not see their future as an autonomous unit within the Georgian state.
History has shown what consequences a hierarchical model of coexistence with Georgia can lead to for Abkhazia. It is only necessary to learn lessons from the experience of the past and, based on them, begin to build equal civilized relations. Only such an approach can ensure the very best future, which is mentioned in the address of the President of Georgia.
It should also be noted that the Republic of Abkhazia did not apply to UNESCO with a request to add the Abkhaz language to the list of “endangered languages”. We consider it unacceptable to consider the development of the Abkhaz language without interaction with the authorities of the Republic of Abkhazia.
Georgia's politicization of the Abkhaz language topic and its introduction to the international level is an open interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia. We intend to raise the issue of the Georgian authorities' speculations on the development of the Abkhaz language during the next round of the Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasia.

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