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Khangoshvili: The special operation should not influence relationship between Georgia and the North Caucasians

Georgia Online
17:25 - 30 August '12

Representative of the Chechen diaspora in Georgia Meka Khangoshvili today made a statement stressing that the special operation in the Lopota gorge against armed groups from Dagestan, should not become a cause for tension between Georgians and the North Caucasian nations.

Today website published a statement, allegedly from the North Caucasus radical islamic underground movement Caucasus Emirate, saying that
" the Georgian side arranged a treacherous trap for the mujahideens of the Caucasus Emirate." Authors of the statement threatened Georgia with revenge in case special operation was not stopped.

The website itself has never been before affiliated with statements from the Emirate, but has become “active” in the last two weeks. That gave birth to speculations, that it was Russian special services, who stand behind this web site, and who systematically force a wedge between Georgians and people of the North Caucasus republics, especially with the underground movement.

"These relations have such a long history, that they should not be sacrificed to such a small incident. I hope that relations will not worsen," said Khangoshvili.

She also noted that there is a council of elders, which everyone obeys, includign the youth. However Khangoshvili stressed that terrorism has no nationality, and the terrorists can not be justified.

"In the Caucasus, this happens seldom, I hope and wish that there will not be this kind of revenge among Caucasian people. We will do our best so the relationships do not escalate", said Khangoshvili.

She also noted there were no tenctions in the Pankisi Gorge – Georgian territory with pre-dominately ethnic Chechen population, who fled Russia following the Caucasus War about 200 years ago and became Georgian citizens.

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