07TBILISI1993, GEORGIA MISSILE ATTACK UPDATE — AUGUST 9

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol).Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #07TBILISI1993.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1993 2007-08-09 13:38 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6038
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1993/01 2211338
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 091338Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7256
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA IMMEDIATE 0017
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 0071
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA IMMEDIATE 0008
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA IMMEDIATE 0007
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA IMMEDIATE 0002
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA IMMEDIATE 0007
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA IMMEDIATE 0003
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE 0004

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001993 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA & EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA MISSILE ATTACK UPDATE -- AUGUST 9 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1975 
     B. TBILISI 1958 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Mark X. Perry for reasons 1.4(b&d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) Speaking at a press conference August 8, Foreign 
Minister Bezhuashvili maintained the Georgian government's 
moderate tone in talking about the missile impact on Georgian 
territory August 6 (reftels).  He called for a "group of 
international experts" to investigate the incident, something 
the Georgians see as a mechanism that would help them with 
the investigation, review the evidence, and provide 
independent objectivity to the findings.  An OSCE Mission 
member has privately indicated to us that he welcomes this 
inclusive but Georgian-led approach, saying that OSCE has 
neither the mandate nor the political maneuverability to be 
able to run an investigation on its own.  End Summary. 
 
Georgians Call for International Expert Group 
--------------------------------------------- 
2. (C) In a press conference August 8, Foreign Minister Gela 
Bezhuashvili said Georgia had decided, in coordination with 
its partners, to "set up a group of international experts and 
invite all partner countries to designate their own 
representatives to this group, military or aviation experts 
who will study thoroughly the evidence made available by the 
Georgian side."  Plans are already underway for international 
experts to review and assist in the investigation.  A team 
from EUCOM will arrive in Georgia August 10, including an 
expert on radar and air operations control, and two munitions 
experts.  Deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia has the lead 
in the Georgian government in setting up the international 
team.  So far Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, and perhaps others 
have offered to participate.  The plan is to have the experts 
meet soon, perhaps as early as Monday, August 13, to begin 
reviewing the evidence. 
 
OSCE Reluctant to Lead 
---------------------- 
3. (C) Jurgen Schmidt of the OSCE Mission told us August 9 
that OSCE was not in a position to lead an investigation of 
the incident.  In the first place, he said, OSCE had no 
mandate for such a role, and this mandate would have to be 
expressly granted either by negotiations with the sides in 
the conflict, or as a result of a decision in Vienna.  He 
said that OSCE saw its role as reporting on this incident as 
it would any other in the "zone of conflict."  He added that, 
given the internal politics of OSCE, the organization might 
not be able to lead an investigation to a satisfactory 
result, even if the evidence was entirely clear.  Schmidt's 
comments about the limits of OSCE's mandate appeared to echo 
an August 9 statement by OSCE Chairman-in-Office Moratinos 
that "The OSCE stands ready to co-operate with the 
investigation within the framework of its mandate." 
 
International Statements Past and Future 
---------------------------------------- 
4. (C) Georgian officials have expressed appreciation for the 
strong Department statement on the incident August 8. 
Regarding a possible EU statement, Saakashvili advisor Daniel 
Kunin told Charge August 8 that he understood Portugal was 
hesitant to issue a statement.  Bezhuashvili had spoken to 
British Minister for Europe Murphy to ask if he could 
energize the Portuguese, and he was also planning to call 
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.  Told by Charge that top 
officials at NATO believe that Georgia had not asked for a 
NATO statement, Bezhuashvili said he would clarify with NATO 
that a statement would be welcomed. 
 
A Second Missile? 
----------------- 
5. (C) In his press conference, Bezhuashvili referred to a 
reported second missile fired by the same planes that fired 
the one that impacted near Gori.  He called on OSCE to "to 
explore the site where the second missile was dropped.  It is 
the de-facto regime-controlled territory.  This site has to 
be explored thoroughly and relevant conclusions made." 
Schmidt told us that he considered eyewitness accounts of a 
second missile to be credible, and that such a missile would 
have likely impacted in a remote mountainous area of South 
 
TBILISI 00001993  002 OF 002 
 
 
Ossetia. 
 
Comment 
------- 
6. (C) In consultation with the USG and others, the Georgians 
appear to be taking a carefully calibrated approach to the 
investigation, keeping their rhetoric restrained while 
setting up an investigative mechanism that welcomes 
international participation without giving the Russians a 
veto over the final conclusion -- as happened with the 
investigation of the March 11 attack in Kodori and as could 
have happened with an OSCE-led investigation of this 
incident.  It remains unclear exactly h
ow the international 
team of experts would work, whether it would meet and review 
evidence as a group, or would be more informal, with experts 
arriving at different times to review evidence with the 
Georgians.  In either case, the Georgians appear eager for 
international partners in the investigation.  In the interest 
of a thorough investigation, pressure should be brought to 
bear on the South Ossetians to permit a search for a possible 
second impact site. 
 
PERRY

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: