Armenian Analyst Responds to Georgian Party Leader's 'Anti-Armenian' Comment
"Bidzina Ivanishvili can deny what he said a thousand times, or say that he said it in a different context and he didn't mean that at all, but, to a great extent, it won't change anything. The Georgian opposition leader's statement figuratively represents Georgians' attitude toward the other ethnicities living in their multi-ethnic country. It's also no coincidence that the political party holding the majority in parliament, the leader of which is Ivanishvili, is called 'Georgian Dream' and not the 'Dream of Georgia' — as we all know, other ethnicities live in Georgia, for whom the place where they live is considered their homeland, including also Javakhq [Javakheti] for Armenians, or Abkhazia for the Abkhaz," said Armenian political analyst Levon Shirinyan in response to Ivanishvili's comment in an interview with New Times in which the Georgian politician said he's surprised why Armenians live in Georgia when their homeland is not so far away.
The Armenian analyst is sure that carried out in the name of integration in Georgia is the gradual process of Armenians being absorbed into the dominant culture, but the non-Georgian peoples living in Georgia — Armenians and Turks — don't combine their efforts to oppose this process because they don't have friendly relations with each other. According to Shirinyan, Georgians know this and use this to their advantage.
"The concept of non-Georgian peoples living in Georgia doesn't exist in Georgian thinking," he said.
As for the role of Armenian MPs in Georgia's parliament in representing Armenian interests in Georgia, Shirinyan said he isn't pinning great hopes on 2–3 parliamentary deputies, considering the fact that these deputies have different political orientations and basically cannot unanimous.
Shirinyan believes that Armenia has to now try to establish the Armenian political factor at least in Javakhq, while Armenia's foreign ministry should deal with Ivanashvili's statement. Furthermore, such incidents shouldn't be publicized so that what happened in the case of Ramil Safarov isn't repeated, when in the outcome, everyone — except for Armenia — benefited from the process.