Georgian Prime Minister calls for maximum integration of local Azerbaijanis
Georgia, Tbilisi, Feb. 5 / Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /
Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili wants to see the maximum integration of Georgian Azerbaijanis into Georgian society.
Azerbaijanis are first-class Georgian citizens and must occupy leading positions not only in local government, but they also must hold positions of ministers and other key senior officials, Ivanishvili said at a news conference on Tuesday.
"A situation where Azerbaijanis do not serve as heads of local administrations in regions with their dense settlement cannot be tolerated, and we will create all conditions for ethnic Azerbaijanis in Georgia to be able to enjoy every right of being a citizen, without any restriction," he said.
Ivanishvili said he had a number of meetings with Azerbaijanis during the pre-election period.
"Azerbaijanis are open and hard-working people, and we must do everything to integrate them into society. This is their country and they should have the same rights as Georgians," Ivanishvili said.
The Prime Minister also promised to return alienated territories in regions compactly populated by Azerbaijanis to their owners.
"The process is currently being launched and we will make just decisions. I know that during the privatization of land, our Azerbaijanis were wronged," he said.
Ivanishvili once again recalled his visit to Baku, stressing that he had very warm meetings there.
"We are focused on the development of our relations, as Azerbaijan is a close and friendly country," he said.