07TBILISI2029, GEORGIA INTENDS TO CONTINUE WORKING IN JCC

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2029 2007-08-13 13:21 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO8874
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2029/01 2251321
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131321Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7293
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002029 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/13/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA INTENDS TO CONTINUE WORKING IN JCC 
 
REF: TBILISI 1994 
 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Mark X. Perry for reasons 1.4(b&d). 
 
Summary 
------- 
1. (C) Georgian officials tell us they plan to continue 
working in the Joint Control Commission (JCC) on the South 
Ossetia conflict, even as they push for other mechanisms that 
they believe would be more effective.  Although the South 
Ossetians torpedoed a planned JCC meeting in Tbilisi August 
9-10, citing alleged security concerns, all sides have once 
again agreed in principle to a meeting in Tbilisi, which is 
now expected to occur in the second half of September.  End 
Summary 
 
See You in September 
-------------------- 
2. (C) OSCE Political Advisor Gantcho Gantchev told us August 
13 that following consultations the previous week involving 
Russian Special Envoy Yuri Popov, there was a "common 
agreement" to hold a JCC meeting in Tbilisi in the second 
half of September.  Gantchev said he was hopeful the meeting 
would take place.  He noted that the South Ossetian side had 
indicated that it would expect "international security 
guarantees," but he thought that this ambiguous request was 
most likely an effort by the South Ossetians to refute 
suggestions that they had backed down on their earlier 
refusal to travel to Tbilisi.  Gantchev said he also did not 
entirely understand comments by Georgian State Minister for 
Conflict Resolution, mentioning in the context of the JCC the 
need for Russia to cooperate with the investigation of the 
August 6 missile incident, but he did not expect this to be a 
major obstacle to a JCC meeting. 
 
Georgia Pursuing JCC and Other Tracks 
------------------------------------- 
3. (C) Georgia's newly appointed JCC co-chair, Deputy State 
Minister for Conflict Resolution Dimitri Manjavidze, 
confirmed to us August 13 Georgia's continued "interest, 
readiness, and commitment" to work in the JCC, as well as 
other formats.  Reviewing the events of the previous week, 
Manjavidze said he had told Popov and Russian Security 
Council representative Kuzin in a private dinner August 6 
that Georgia would continue working in the JCC, although he 
added on a more general level that he thought the JCC 
mechanism was not working, and it would be worth it to 
consider moving at least some parts of the negotiation 
process to the "Authorized Delegations of the Sides" format. 
Popov replied that he had never refused to work in the 
Authorized Delegations, but his priority was the JCC. 
Manjavidze also shared with Popov his thoughts on the Joint 
Peacekeeping Force (JPKF), noting that some of its activities 
-- such as the establishment of new checkpoints -- were in 
fact more positive than Georgian officials would sometimes 
admit. 
 
4. (C) Manjavidze said Popov then traveled to Tskhinvali for 
meetings August 7, where he somewhat mis-characterized his 
discussion with Manjavidze, including in a press release 
suggesting Georgia agreed with Russia on the importance of 
the JCC.  To clear up the issue, Manjavidve said, State 
Minister Bakradze had recently disseminated the 
correspondence from these negotiations to the diplomatic 
corps.  In a raucous August 8 meeting of the "Union of Elders 
of South Ossetia and North Ossetia," separatist leader 
Kokoity announced that South Ossetian JCC co-chair Boris 
Chochiev would not attend the meeting in Tbilisi, where a 
planned terrorist attack certainly awaited him (reftel). 
(Note: The correspondence shows that the Georgians did in 
fact promise diplomatic immunity to the South Ossetian 
delegation, in accordance with the JCC terms of reference. 
End Note.)  Manjavidze told us that, after this low point, 
Popov did manage to get all sides to agree in principle to a 
Tbilisi meeting.  Manjavidze said Georgia agreed, but 
Bakradze also raised the pending need for Russia to cooperate 
with the investigation of the missile incident (septels). 
Manjavidze stressed that Georgia had not made this an 
"immediate condition" for the meeting, but took the 
opportunity to stress the importance of the investigation and 
the possibility that future developments in it could affect 
the JCC.  He said Georgia "did not refuse" Popov's proposed 
timing of the second half of September, but he thought final 
agreement on such details would have to wait for Popov to 
complete a monthlong vacation. 
 
Comment 
------- 
5. (C) While the Georgians have expressed some concerns and 
comments in connection with the next JCC, Manjavidze stressed 
repeatedly to us that Georgia sees the JCC process as a part 
 
TBILISI 00002029  002 OF 002 
 
 
of its plan for the future.  It was the South Ossetians who 
refused to attend the meeting planned for August 9-10, after 
several rounds in which they agreed to go and then pulled 
back.  Both sides have now endorsed a September JCC in 
principle, but also left themselves a little wiggle room. 
This seemingly endless process of talks about whether to have 
talks will likely resume after the summer holidays.  We will 
continue to stress to the Georgians that they should be 
careful not to leave themsel
ves open to charges of failing to 
work in the JCC format, even as they pursue the use of other 
(perhaps more effective) formats to negotiate a peaceful 
resolution of the conflict. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

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