Aspects of the Georgian-Abkhazian Conflict

Editors: Paula Garb

Arda Inal-Ipa

Paata Zakareishvili

This publication was made possible by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Copyright � 2000 University of California, Irvine

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This is the fourth volume in a series of publications resulting from dialogues on various aspects of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. The project is sponsored by the University of California, Irvine, with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The authors of this volume�s articles are academics, journalists and members of nongovernmental organizations on both sides of the conflict. A total of forty-two people have participated in the five conferences and numerous parallel meetings held so far.
The goal of the project is to promote constructive dialogue among increasingly wider circles of people in the local communities in hopes of contributing to the peace process. We believe that a lasting peace is possible when all sectors of the public are engaged in conversation about the history and causes of the conflict and about mutually acceptable solutions. Therefore these citizen peacebuiding efforts complement the official peace process.

The articles in this volume were presented at a conference held in Moscow, March 25-27. They focus on civil society development, diverse models of states, and public opinion on both sides of the conflict toward refugees. The conversations after each presentation were frank and constructive.

Since the participants found these discussions so valuable we decided to include them in this publication. The transcripts were edited to avoid repetition and enhance clarity. After all, the spoken language differs from the written style appropriate for publication. The editors made no substantive changes to participants� remarks.

Presentations from the most recent conference held in Adler, August 26-28, continued to focus on these issues of political status and refugee return, taking the discussions to a new level. Another topic in that dialogue was cultural continuity in the context of statebuilding. The resulting publication is currently in press.

We will continue the dialogue process and the series of publications. We welcome your feedback on this and other volumes as we plan future activities. The editors and project coordinators can be reached at the following email addresses:,, .

More information about the project is available on the internet at .

We are grateful to the staffs of the Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development and the Centre for Humanitarian Programmes for their major contributions to the editing and publishing of this volume.

Arda Inal-Ipa
The Centre for Humanitarian Programmes

Paata Zakareishvili
The Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development

Paula Garb
The University of California, Irvine, Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies

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