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Zurabishvili Visits Samtskhe-Javakheti, Stresses Importance of Learning Georgian Language

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili visited Akhalkalaki, a town in the southern Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti predominately populated by ethnic Armenians.

During her meeting with local residents, President Zurabishvili spoke about the necessity of integration of ethnic Armenians of Georgia, and the importance of the Georgian language to that end.

In Georgia’s 2014 population census, 168,100 people (4.5%) reported Armenian origin. In Samtskhe-Javakheti, they make 50.52% of the regional population (81,089). Ethnic Armenians form absolute majority in Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda municipalities.

“[Georgian] language is the key for strengthening [our] relations, for understanding and respecting each other… those who speak Georgian are able to take active part in the decision making processes,” Zurabishvili stressed.

“The government wants you to be full-fledged citizens of Georgia… Today, everyone has the right to restore their citizenship, but for this happen, you too should take a step forward and learn the state language,” she noted, adding that the authorities will spare no efforts to make Georgian language education more accessible for local residents.

President Zurabishvili travelled to Samtskhe-Javakheti on April 13-14. In Akhaltsikhe, the regional center, she met with mayors of local municipalities, as well as with local entrepreneurs.

As part of her regional visits, the President has already been to Samegrelo, Imereti and Kvemo Kartli.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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