01.2006, Georgia and the Meskhetians

Publié le par Sophie Tournon

31.01.2006  - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

31 January 2006 -- Georgia's Conflict Resolution Minister Giorgi Khaindrava said today that the Georgian parliament will this spring examine a bill that would facilitate the return of the Meskhetians, a 300,000-strong people that Soviet leader Josef Stalin deported to Central Asia in 1944. Khaindrava made the announcement in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where he was meeting with representatives of the Meskhetian community. Azerbaijan is home to some 70,000 Meskhetians who settled there after the 1960s. Other Meskhetian communities live in Central Asia, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Only a few individuals have returned to Georgia. Of all the Soviet peoples exiled during World War II, the Meskhetians are the only ones who remain barred from returning to their former homeland. Local populations and many Georgian politicians argue that their return could destabilize the country. Russia: European Commission 'Concerned' Over Treatment Of Finno-Ugric Minorities Georgia: Leaders Remain Noncommittal On Meskhetian Repatriation Issue U.S.: Meskhetian Families From Krasnodar Adjusting Well To Life Analysis: Beyond Beslan, The Caucasus's Fissures Run Deep



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