07TBILISI1562, SANAKOYEV SPEAKS IN BRUSSELS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1562 2007-06-29 09:54 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9366
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1562/01 1800954
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290954Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6850
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001562 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV RS GG
SUBJECT: SANAKOYEV SPEAKS IN BRUSSELS 
 
 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  On June 26, Dmitry Sanakoyev, head of Georgia's Temporary 
Administration of South Ossetia, addressed the European Parliament 
in Brussels.  Georgian media gave extensive and positive coverage to 
the event, hailing it as the first ever address made in Brussels in 
the Ossetian language.  The separatist regime in South Ossetia 
criticized the speech and reportedly turned off electrical power so 
that residents of Tskhinvali would be unable to watch it on live 
television.  End Summary. 
 
Georgia and Ossetia will come back to Europe 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
2.  Sanakoyev, appearing at the European Parliament as a member of 
the Georgian delegation, started his speech by stressing the 
significance of Europe and its institutions for the Ossetian people, 
as an example of "leading a dignified life, forgetting the problems 
of the past and creating an environment where every person is 
guaranteed a safe, dignified and peaceful existence."  Sanakoyev 
expressed his belief that due to the progress of the past three 
years, Georgia is "returning to Europe, its natural environment," 
and, together with Georgia, so will South Ossetia.  Sanakoyev 
stressed that he was speaking as an ordinary Ossetian who himself 
fought in the conflict and who had personally experienced all the 
hardships that had beset South Ossetia for the past 17 years.  At 
the same time, he said it was absolutely certain that the conflict, 
which occurred due to the faults of the Soviet legacy and grave 
mistakes made by both sides, "should come to an end and become 
history, as a tragic and shameful blight on the centuries-long 
friendship of the Georgian and Ossetian peoples." 
 
Political will creates hope 
--------------------------- 
 
3.  Sanakoyev stressed that a just and peaceful resolution of the 
conflict could not be achieved without restoration of mutual 
confidence and respect between Georgians and Ossetians which, in 
turn, could be achieved only through direct dialogue.  He 
underscored that political will for such a resolution had emerged in 
Georgia and this also creates hope for the final settlement.  In 
addition, such a dialogue requires a conducive environment and 
friends ready to assist in critical situations; and that is why "the 
role of the European Union in confidence building and economic 
rehabilitation is so significant."  Unfortunately, he added, the 
Ossetian people have become hostages of the de facto regime, which 
under the dictation of the "northern neighbor" is "oriented to 
preserve the status quo in South Ossetia." 
 
From a zone of conflict to a zone of tourism 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
4.  Looking into the future, Sanakoyev stressed that "Ossetian 
people have a lot to say to the world," and South Ossetia should 
transform from a "zone of conflict" into a "zone of tourism."  This 
goal should be preceded by joint social, economic and cultural 
projects, but most important is mutual work to specify wide autonomy 
for South Ossetia, and elaboration of guarantees for political 
representation and preservation of cultural identity, which has 
already started."  At the same time, Sanakoyev stressed that while 
working for this common goal, South Ossetia and the central 
government in Tbilisi had different views on a number of issues, and 
under such circumstances the participation of an objective and 
friendly arbiter was essential.  "Europe can be such an arbiter," 
concluded Sanakoyev, calling on European institutions and experts to 
get actively involved in discussions on the status of South Ossetia. 
 
 
Tbilisi hails speech; Tskhinvali turns off the light 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
5.  Tbilisi media, commentators, and politicians of all views gave 
favorable reviews to Sanakoyev's speech, characterizing the fact 
that he addressed the European Parliament a "serious step forward" 
and a "historic" event.  Reaction in the separatist region was 
predictably negative, and according to press reports, the de facto 
government went so far as to turn off electrical power in the 
Tskhinvali district during the speech, so that the population could 
 
SIPDIS 
not watch it on Georgian-sponsored Alania television.  The de facto 
ministry of foreign affairs issued a statement expressing 
"indignation" over the event, which it characterized as part of 
"Georgia's broad-scale campaign to legalize the puppet temporary 
administration." 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
6.  The Georgians clearly see Sanakoyev's appearance in Brussels as 
a major step toward greater international recognition of Sanakoyev 
as a legitimate representative of South Ossetia, something they 
believe will also bolster his standing among the South Ossetian 
population.  We do not know if it is indeed having this effect, but 
 
TBILISI 00001562  002 OF 002 
 
 
the reported shutoff of electricity during Sanakoyev's speech 
suggests that the de facto authorities fear just such an outcome. 
 &#x000
A;TEFFT

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