Hillary Feeding Georgia With Strategic Promises

By Ruslan Chigoev

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton goes on encouraging Georgia. After her approving statements about support of Sakartvelo's sovereignty and "territorial integrity" she promised to assist in realization of a strategy regarding the "occupied territories". The prospect of the implementation of this document was discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with Foreign Minister of Abkhazia Maxim Gvindzhia.

"We support the purposes of Georgia's state strategy concerning the occupied territories", - Clinton remarked. - The United States are fully ready to undertake actions in support of these essential objectives". Avoiding any details, the state secretary, however, made the head of Sakartvelo very happy. Mikheil Saakashvili has already thanked Mrs. Clinton for her approval.
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However, it's not quite clear in what way Washington is going to aid Tbilisi in reconciling with the Abkhaz and Ossetians, especially if it is going to continue referring to Caucasian republics as to the "occupied territories". This very inconsistency, together with many others, has been preventing the implementation of the Georgian strategy for almost a year.

It should seem that the purposes aired by Tbilisi are truly positive. They include settling humanitarian issues, looking for the ways of solving the problems of the near-border population, the problem of normal education being among them. However, Georgian strategists are reasonably rebuffed by Tskinval and Sukhum for calling the authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia "puppet regimes". At the same time, both Ossetian and Abkhaz governments admit that the current situation when the closest neighbors keep no contact is unnatural in itself.

However, by mentioning the "occupied territories", Mrs. Clinton is just pouring oil on flames. Her yesterday's "politically correct" epithets could not fail to attract the attention of the South-Caucasian republics and naturally cause criticism.

According to South-Ossetian President's Deputy Envoy on post-conflict settlement Merab Chigoyev, for some reason, western officials showed no interest to the fact that within 20 years, one of the best nooks of Ossetia, Lenongorskiy region, has been truly occupied by Georgia. Chigoyev underlined that Tbilisi's strategy in respect of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is absolutely unacceptable for both the republics. "We consider this strategy to be unreal and unrealizable and do not feel like commenting upon its essence", - he added.

In its turn, the Abkhaz MFA made it clear that the overt pro-Georgian position of the USA, which are one of the co-chairmen at Geneva discussions, raises reasonable doubts as to the expedience of Sukhum representatives' participation in negotiations. "The Abkhaz party suggests that the US State Department should provide an extended explanation of the meaning of such notions as the "occupied Georgian territory" and "unshakable support of Georgia's territorial integrity", thus substantiating its position more distinctly, so long as this statement provokes Georgia's aggressive desire to resume the "territorial integrity" in a military way with the US' more open support", - the Abkhaz diplomats suppose.
To clear up the republic's attitude towards the Georgian strategy and Hillary Clinton's statements about its approval, we got in touch with Head of Abkhaz Foreign Ministry Maxim Gvindzhia.

- I believe Clinton's statements to be purely declarative and groundless. They are aimed at showing at least some kind of support of Georgia in its aggressive intentions. As for the strategy, our position goes as follows: firstly, I never read this document and secondly, this plan of actions that Georgia has allegedly designed for Abkhazia was rejected in our republic. I don't even know anyone who would comment upon this strategy. It was denied here flatly, for it's aimed at strangling Abkhazia and continuing the pressure using beautiful words about new opportunities.

Moreover, we've got a reasonable question: if the US are ready to support the strategy, which presents interest only for Georgia, it means Hillary Clinton openly states that she is not going to take the Abkhaz' opinion into account, which speaks for Washington's prejudiced position on the matter. United States always position themselves as protectors of the common people's freedom and interests but here Clinton says that she is indifferent to the opinion of the Abkhaz.
Maxim Kharitonovitch, do you share the opinion that the Georgian strategy is being sponsored by western tax-payers?

Yes, this document has been drawn up by western specialists and sponsored by western foundations. We do believe that this political adventure is supported by international community. It is known beforehand that the project is not going to be realized; still, huge money is allocated for it. These means have been already spent a long time ago.
Do you believe that the dialogue between Sukhum and Tbilisi should be started with signing a treaty on the non-use of force?

I believe that mending relationship should be started with the guarantees of non-aggression. It two countries are in a state of war, what kind of strategy and trust are we talking about?
Georgia Times