Council of Europe invited Georgian and Ossetian civil sector and media representatives to Bosnia-Herzegovina. There is no Consulate of the given country in Georgia, so, we, the Georgian group had to arrive in Istanbul one day ahead. We found hotel Plaza in Beshinktash district and next morning started to look for the Consulate. After long search we found Bosnia-Herzegovina Consulate in one of apartment buildings. Consulate staff was already expecting us and our visas without photos were already in our passports by noon. Ossetian colleagues joined us in Istanbul Airport, flying from Moscow. I was glad to see Tskhinvali journalist Irina Kelekhaeva; we have not met for a long time.
- I sent my greetings from the other side of the barbed wire; did they tell you? – She asked.
I said yes, while we live only 30 kilometers away from each other – she is in Tskhinvali and I’m in Gori – and we send greetings and meet in third countries. Almost a year has passed since we met last time in framework of Georgian-Ossetian civil dialogue Viewpoint in Istanbul. My old acquaintance, political scientist Dina Alborova was also there; I met her in Yerevan a month ago. Now we, Georgians and Ossetians go to Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is a Federal Republic and several years ago there was a bloody conflict between local ethnic groups there. Now the situation is calm and the conflict has almost been settled. I believe during 5 days of visiting Sarajevo and three other cities we will gain certain experience and hear interesting information. Maybe the given experience will even help us to settle our conflict. Goal of the Council of Europe, organizer of the meeting, is to have representatives of South Ossetia and Georgia civil sectors to get to know together Bosnia-Herzegovina history, conflict and ways of its settlement.