Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions

On April 5, Caucasian House held a conference on Islam in Georgia: State Policy and Vision from Regions”. The opening remarks included the discussion on religious and political aspects and the significance of secularism in a contemporary state building process. The head of Asian direction at Caucasian House Giorgi Lobzhanidze, the professor at Ilia State University Giorgi Sanikidze alongside the philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili presented reports on aforementioned topics.

The second session was dedicated toward State policy on religion. The Chairman of State Agency for Religious Issues Zaza Vashakmadze analysed the state policy toward dominant confessions presented in Georgia, especially focusing on Muslim community. During the third session, Ramin Igidov, the Sheikh of all Georgia and Iasin Aliev, Mufti of all Georgia talked about the priorities of Muslim Division and emphasized the importance of the establishment of the Muslim education institution in Georgia.

Moreover, the researchers of Caucasian house Archil Sikharulidze and Gela Khmaladze presented the results of the qualitative social research regarding the integration process of Muslim community in Georgia and elaborated on main findings.

Representatives of state agencies, local and international non-governmental organizations, embassies and experts took part in the conference.

The conference was held with the financial support of British Embassy in Georgia.

Public Discussion and Presentation and of the Policy Document

On March 28th  public discussion and presentation of the policy document: Georgia-Iran Relations and the New Challenges after the Nuclear Deal  was held at Caucasian House

The document was written in the framework of the project “Georgian-Russian Dialogue for Peace and Cooperation” by a researcher Edisher Baghaturia. The paper discusses Georgian-Iran relations since 1991 and future prospects of cooperation after the Vienna Nuclear Deal. Perspectives for cooperation between the two countries are put in the context of balancing interests and influences of regional actors operating in Georgia

The first speech was delivered by a Minister counselor of Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Tbilisi Mohsen Kebriaeizadeh. He spoke about the relations between two countries and ongoing political processes in the region. Author of the document Edisher Baghaturia paid more attention to the importance of Iran-Georgia relations in the context of the security as well as on the political-economic benefits which Georgia can get from cooperation with Iran. The meeting was moderated by the head of the Islamic department at Caucasian House Giorgi Lobzhanidze.

Interesting remarks were made after the presentation on Georgia-Iran relations by the Iranologists Giorgi Sanikidze and Niko Nakhutsrishvili.

The representatives from the public and civil sectors as well as representatives from TV and print media and Georgian and foreign students attended the meeting.

The project is funded by “Conflict, Stability and Security Fund” of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Caucasian House actively continues working on policy documents studying regional politics.