Dear Countrymen!

Abkhaz and Georgian people have established the fraternal relations since the old ages.  Our common Kolkh origin, genetic kinship of our people and languages, common history and culture make us think about the future destiny of our nations.  We have always lived on the same land, sharing each-other’s pain and happiness, fighting with the common enemies on the same battlefields.

Representatives of the old Abkhazian families make no distinction between the Abkhaz and Georgians.  The Abkhaz nobles the Shervashidze called themselves not only as Abkhazs, but also the Georgian nobles.  Georgian language, simultaneously to the Abkhaz one, was their native language, as well as for Abkhazian writers of that time.  The culture of “Vepkhistkaosani” and the oldest Georgian castles with Georgian scripts united us and impressed the visitors with their charm.  Queen Tamar’s bridge near Sukhumi on the river Besleti still maintains the old Georgian scripts.  Bedia and Mokvi, Lykhny, Bichvinta and many other monuments are witnessing our fraternity, our unity.

Georgians always perceived the Abkhaz as a symbol of knight and nobility.  The poem of Akakiy Tsereteli “Tutor” and many other master-peaces of Georgian literature clearly demonstrate the above said.  Georgian writer Konstantin Gamsakhudia made famous

Abkhazian culture and identity, nobility and strength of the spirit of Abkhaz people in his novel “The Moon’s Kidnapping”, and we are very proud of that.  Georgian scientists Nicolas Marr, Arnold Chikobava and Ketevan Lomtatidze played important role in developing the scientific approaches to the Abkhaz language and literature, in systematization of the Abkhaz grammar.  Georgian historians Ivane Javakhishvili, Simon Janashia, Niko Berdzenishvili and others made considerable research of the key problems of the Abkhaz history.  Abkhaz people have always played important role in strengthening our common kingdom and cultural development. 

We withstood against many empires; Romans, Byzantines, Arabs or Turks failed to shake our fraternity and friendship.  However, in XIX-XX centuries we had to stand face to face with the most perfidious and cruel Empire – the Russian Empire, which brought to our peoples many disasters and hardships.  The Russian Empire expelled the most of the Abkhaz people and abolished the Abkhaz principality, as well as the Georgian kingdom and pursued the aim of a full assimilation and annihilation of our people.  However, they saw that only bloody repressions and genocide would fail to reach the goal and started to use the well-tried remedy of any empire – “Divide and rule”, breeding the confrontation between the Abkhaz and Georgian peoples.  Despite of this, as Nestor Lakoba noted, even Tsarism failed to seed rivalry between Abkhazs and Georgians.  Unfortunately, the current Communist Empire, striving for retaining its position and hegemony, successfully realized this goal through their agents, preparing the ground for further Balkanization and devastation of the Caucasus.

We highly respect the ethnic and cultural rights of the Abkhaz people: your statehood, your language, culture, Abkhaz schools, theatre.  We do our best to solve the problems through negotiations.  However, unfortunately, the leaders of the Abkhaz Autonomous Republic fail to show the readiness to the negotiations.  They pursue the way of confrontation with us, demonstrating the separatist trends and threatening the peace on the territory of Abkhazia.

Appointment of the Prefect in Gali by the Georgian authorities has made a racket.  According to our law the authorities of the autonomous republic shall nominate the candidate to the Prefects, and we shall approve them.  The interpretation of this law states that if the authorities of the autonomous republic fail to nominate such candidates, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of Georgia shall have the right to appoint the Prefect.  Mr Ardzinba has ignored several of our requests to come to Tbilisi and attend the sessions of the Presidium, as he is a member of it; and he did not advance the candidate to the Prefect. Therefore, we have appointed the Prefect in the Gali District.  Currently we have offered to Mr Ardzinba to nominate the other candidates, but seams he is still reluctant to do that.

In fact he is boycotting our parliament, our policy of the Prefects’ system and tries to maintain in Abkhazia the outdated Communist regime and the Communist system of ruling.  However, we have to remind him that the Communist system and the Soviet Empire are doomed to be collapsed, and Ardzinba tries to turn back the clock of history.  Sooner or later the oppressed nations of the Soviet Union will to cast off the yoke of the Communist dictatorship and then Ardzinba and other officials, like him, will be perceived as the traitors of their own people.

Today the whole world condemns the repressive policy of Gorbachev against the oppressed people, like the barbaric bloodshed in Lithuania and Latvia.  Thus, no one should rely on the soviet tanks.

The world community also condemns the attempt of the center to create the inter-fronts and “salvation committees” aimed at overthrowing the governments, which are elected by the people.   And against such background inter-front has been established in Abkhazia, striving to repeat the Baltic model.  Ardzinba repeatedly invites the Empire’s Army.  Such development may cause the bloodshed in Abkhazia.  He has already succeeded in deploying the internal troops in Babushera.  However, he should remember that the world will condemn his conduct too, as it has been done regarding the Baltin's “Salvation Committee”.    Ardzinba tries to drag the Abkhaz people into the dangerous adventure, which may bring him only disgrace and disaster.  Participation in the Union Referendum of 17 March is equally dangerous for the Abkhaz population, as it is aimed at instilling the inter-ethnic hatred in Abkhazia, breeding the confrontation among Georgians, Armenians, Russians and the representatives of other nations, and provoking the bloodshed.  Therefore, we call upon you not to fall under intrigues of communists’ – who are our historical enemies and instigators.  You should boycott the Soviet Referendum and take part in the Referendum of the Republic of Georgia of 31 March, which aims at restoring the independence of Georgia.  The independent Georgia will give you more, than the modernized Soviet Empire, which strives to assimilate and Russianize all smaller nations.  Abkhazia will achieve the genuine autonomy within the independent Georgia.  It will enjoy the real self-governance, as it had been during many centuries of existence of the unified kingdom of the Abkhaz and Georgians.

Viva our historical fraternity, unity and independence!

In God we trust!

With love and respect Z. Gamsakhurdia

(Newspaper “Sovetskaia Abkhazia”, # 44, 15 March 1991)