Friday 14 November 2008

Karachaevo-Circassia: International Circassian Association discusses repatriation problems

The city of Cherkessk, the capital of Karachaevo-Circassia, has hosted an expanded session of the International Circassian Association, which discussed, among other issues, promotion to resettlement of the compatriots living abroad to the territory of their historical homeland.

Making comments on the outcomes of the discussion, Khazbulat Dzamikhov, President of the International Circassian Association, thanked the leadership of the Russian Federation "for the recently adopted regulatory acts concerning the opportunities for our compatriots to come home." In particular, for the 2006 decree of the RF President on measures to contribute to voluntary resettlement compatriots living abroad back to Russia.

Further, Mr Dzamikhov has noted that although "the decree was targeted at the Russian-speaking population living in the CIS countries, it arose interest among the members of the Circassian Diaspora, who tried to draw attention through international organizations to the possibility for the decree to cover them either."

"The Circassian Diaspora is not happy that the decree suggests immigrants to accommodate in the regions with deficit of labour force, such as the Irkutsk and Amur Regions. Our compatriots wish to move to their historical homeland that is, to Northern Caucasus," said Khazbulat Dzamikhov.

In his opinion, not so many foreign Circassians want to return to Northern Caucasus: "In the latest 17 years, about two thousand persons have come back. They got accommodated in Adygea, Black Sea coast, Karachaevo-Circassia and Kabardino-Balkaria. Many of them got adapted, but there were people who failed to do it and left back."

Mr Dzamikhov thinks that should the legislation be simplified, more persons will be interested to return. In particular, he treated positively the changes made in "The Law on Citizenship". They assume reduction of the term for getting citizenship from 5 years down to one. The issue of knowing Russian will be less strict. The changes will be adopted by the State Duma and sent for signing to the President.

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