Mr. Chairman!

As you know, people in Georgia are deeply concerned with the lingering conflict in the historical region of Shida Kartli. There are casualties and refugees among Georgians and Ossetians. Although ways of peaceful resolution of the conflict have begun to show lately, certain forces still try to undermine the negotiating process, which Georgians have always supported and continue to support. As neighboring states, we have to overcome divisions and restore good neighborly relations in the future. We have to lay the foundation for this today.

The “Autonomous Region of South Ossetia” was formed as a result of the aggression of the Bolshevik army and the occupation of the entire territory of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

Special decree # 2 of the Council of People’s Commissars of April 20, 1922, defined the political status and the territory of the region and declared the Georgian-populated town of Tskhinvali the region’s capital.

Several attempts to change the political status of the autonomous region at the expense of the territorial integrity of Georgia were made in different times afterwards by means of direct instigations and military force. The declaration of sovereignty of South Ossetia, adopted by the Regional Council of People’s Deputies of the “Autonomous Region of South Ossetia” on September 20, 1990 is the most recent manifestation of the aspiration to change the political status of the region.

The decision to transform the “Autonomous Region of South Ossetia” into the “Soviet Democratic Republic of South Ossetia” was made on the same day. On September 21, 1990, the Presidium of the Supreme Council adopted a resolution invalidating the mentioned documents. Yet, “Executive Committee of the Republic” was established on October 16 and elections were appointed. On November 22, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia annulled this decision and warned the Ossetian side about the responsibility entailed by similar actions. However, on December 9, 1990 anti-constitutional and illegal elections aimed against the territorial integrity of Georgia were held on the territory of former “Autonomous Region of South Ossetia”.

Since the Government of Georgia will never put up with the violation of territorial integrity of Georgia, on December 11, 1990 the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia adopted a resolution abolishing the “Autonomous Region of South Ossetia”. This document restored historical justice and gave an adequate response to those who encroach on territorial integrity of Georgia. The following actions of the Ossetian side provoked escalation of the conflict which we have today.

The Georgian-Ossetian relations must be based in the future on the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Georgia with laws and other normative acts of the Supreme Council and President of Georgia having force on its entire territory.

It is astounding that the historical motherland of the Ossetians is called today “Autonomous Republic of North Ossetia”. Let me remind you that in March 1918, in Pyatigorsk, the Second Congress of the Peoples of the Terek Region declared the establishment of the Terek Soviet Republic within the Russian SFSR.

In January-February 1919, Ossetia was seized by Denikin, but in the end of 1920 the Soviet power was restored. Vladikavkaz (Ossetian) Okrug (District) was formed in 1921 within the Mountain Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. On July 7, 1924 the okrug was transformed into region and in December 1931 into Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

It is true that the so-called Autonomous Region of South Ossetia existed by this time on the territory of Georgia occupied by the Soviet Russia, but naming the historical Ossetia “North Ossetia” after the legitimate Georgian government eliminated one of the results of the foreign state’s aggression and restored historical and political justice, is nothing but juridical nonsense.

All this could become one of the major obstacles in our further relationship and I ask you to consider this in your legislative activities in the future.

Mr. Chairman! We welcome the assistance that you provide to the population affected by the natural disaster. At the same time, people of Georgia are astounded by the support that you give to the self-proclaimed “regional committees” thus preventing further normalization of the situation. This is why we urge you to reinstate the historical name of your country, Ossetia, instead of North Ossetia, not to recognize the illegitimate “Autonomous Region of South Ossetia” and its “Regional Committee”.

We also urge you to consider our opinion in your future work. We are confident that we can settle all divisions and the conflict through the coordination of our reasonable actions and mutual consent. Provided all the above mentioned is implemented, we will manage to revitalize the neighborly relations that our peoples and our ancestors deserve.

Z.Gamsakhurdia, President of the Republic of Georgia

Tbilisi, 26 July, 1991.

(Bulletins of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia, # 7, 1991, pp. 98-99/Translation from Georgian)