OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) Knut Vollebaek visited Georgia from 15 to 19 July 2012 to get an update on the situation ahead of parliamentary elections expected in October.
During his meetings with government officials, politicians and other stakeholders in Tbilisi, Vollebaek urged them to avoid confrontational rhetoric and to fully engage members of national minorities in the political process.
The High Commissioner was also briefed on several issues with which he has been engaged, including the Government’s efforts to introduce multilingual education and to facilitate the Meskhetian repatriation process.
Vollebaek also visited Sokhumi, where he met representatives of the de-facto authorities and international organizations. He has long been monitoring the situation of the ethnic Georgian communities in the Gali district and has repeatedly expressed concern about their situation.