Representatives of Abkhazia Not Granted Visas to Germany to ''Peace Camp'' Organized by Council of Europe

SUKHUM -- From July 5 till July 12 in Germany the Council of Europe has organized Youth “Peace Camp” on conflicts settlement and transformation. Young men and women from Abkhazia could not go to the camp because of difficulties with visas.

According to the co-director of the Sukhum house of youth Aida Ladariya, two months ago for the first time Abkhazia was offered to take part in a meeting organized by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the German "Europa Park". Representatives from Palestine, Cyprus, Northern Cyprus, Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia should have taken part in this camp.

“We were glad to be invited as it gave a chance to the Abkhaz youth to be heard by the international community. Unfortunately, the world hears only one side of the conflict, namely Georgia”, Aida Ladariya said.

As she said, the Abkhaz party representatives notified the organizers in advance about numerous refusals of entry visas to the citizens of Abkhazia, but they were promised there would be no problems. Ten people and a head had been originally invited, and then the organizers changed the conditions and invited a head and three youth representatives to that camp. And from Georgia six people were supposed to participate.

Aida Ladariya underlined that the Abkhaz participants had tried to send the documents in time to Moscow for the visas to be issued in proper time. At the last moment it became known about refusal from the embassies of Germany and France.

“It is strange that such influential an organization as the Council of Europe could not organize participation of the delegation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the camp, organized within the frameworks of the all-European campaign “All are different — all are equal”, the co-director of the Sukhum house of youth considers.

“Peace camp” on conflicts settlement and transformation is an initiative which was carried out for the first time in 2003, aimed at involving youth in the conflicts settlement in Europe and the neighbor regions. Its purpose is to create conditions for young men and women so that they could free themselves from stereotypes and forget about prejudices; to let them know they have very much in common; to give them an opportunity to tell their stories in a safe environment; to build mutual trust.




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