07TBILISI2043, GEORGIA: FRIENDS OF SYG DISCUSS FOLLOW-UP TO BONN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2043 2007-08-14 06:26 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9400
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2043/01 2260626
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 140626Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7296
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002043 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/09/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: FRIENDS OF SYG DISCUSS FOLLOW-UP TO BONN 
MEETING 
 
REF: TBILISI 1604 
 
Classified By: CDA Mark X. Perry for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  On August 7, Deputy Special Representative 
of the Secretary General (D/SRSG) Ivo Petrov briefed 
representatives of the Group of Friends of the UN Secretary 
General (U.S., Germany, France, Britain, and Russia) on 
progress by the sides in implementing steps agreed to during 
their June 27-28 meeting in Bonn, Germany.  Petrov said that 
the sides did not resume Quadripartite meetings (QPM) on law 
enforcement in July as agreed and there has been no further 
discussion between the sides on the issue.  Cooperation on 
African Swine Fever (ASF) has also not moved forward, he 
said, and there has been no progress on the establishment of 
maritime communication between Trabzon, Turkey and Sukhumi. 
He noted that some progress had been made on the 
investigation into the disappearance of David Sigua and the 
ICRC initiative on missing persons.  He said UNOMIG 
established an observation team base in Kodori on July 18, 
but UNOMIG's other three proposals for monitoring Kodori - 
allowing UNOMIG patrols outside the zone of conflict (ZOC), 
unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) patrols of the gorge, and 
placement of artillery radar - have not yet been agreed upon. 
End Summary. 
 
Georgians look to change QPM format 
----------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C)   Petrov told the Friends that the sides did not 
reconvene a QPM on law enforcement in July as originally 
agreed in Bonn.  He said that the Abkhaz and CIS PKF have 
responded to a draft terms of reference for future 
Quadripartite meetings, but the Georgians have not yet 
responded.  In a July 19 meeting at the State Ministry for 
Conflict Resolution, Petrov said that the Georgians told him 
that the QPM composition was not how it was discussed in 
Bonn.  The Georgians told him that they wanted the EU, OSCE, 
and Group of Friends to also participate, which Petrov 
characterized as a change of format that was not agreed to in 
Bonn.  German Ambassador Flor responded by saying that the 
Friends should continue to press the Georgians to resume the 
QPM meetings, adding that there was no doubt in Bonn that the 
sides agreed to technical level meetings with no mention of a 
format change.  (Note:  The Georgians are currently reviewing 
the draft terms of reference in an interagency group process. 
 Some Georgian officials have expressed concern that the 
draft would allow the CIS peacekeeping force to retain the 
leading role in the QPMs.  End note.) 
 
UNOMIG Kodori proposals 
----------------------- 
 
3.  (C)  On July 18, the UN established an observation post 
in Kodori as one of the four CBMs proposed by UNOMIG in the 
wake of the March 11 attack on Georgian government buildings 
in upper Kodori.  Petrov said that the remaining three 
measures - UNOMIG patrols in Georgian and Abkhaz controlled 
territory adjacent to the ZOC, UAV patrols of the gorge, and 
placement of an artillery radar in the gorge - have not yet 
been implemented.  Petrov characterized UAV patrols and 
artillery radar as more complicated issues that will require 
further study by international experts prior to 
implementation.  He said they have asked UN headquarters in 
New York to send an expert on artillery radar systems to 
determine how well such a radar would work inside the steep 
valleys of Kodori.  British Ambassador Keefe suggested that 
the Defense Attaches of the respective embassies could also 
help, and proposed sending them to Kodori to also conduct 
feasibility studies or provide support to the UN experts. 
Petrov suggested that the DATTs raise the issue during their 
meeting with UNOMIG Chief Military Observer, General Khattak, 
the week of August 13. 
 
No further steps on ASF, Maritime cooperation 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
4.  (C)  Petrov said that there has been no further progress 
on the establishment of maritime communications between 
Trabzon, Turkey and Sukhumi.  The Abkhaz have proposed a 
meeting on ASF through the cooperative mechanism established 
by the UN during the Avian Influenza outbreak last year, he 
said, adding that the Abkhaz have had to kill all of their 
pigs in the lower Kodori gorge after some pigs tested 
positive for ASF.  He said the Abkhaz claim that infected 
pigs washed downriver from Georgian-controlled upper Kodori, 
spreading the infection to their pigs.  Despite this, he 
said, the Abkhaz remain willing to cooperate on the issue. 
 
Sigua investigation off to good start 
------------------------------------- 
 
 
TBILISI 00002043  002 OF 002 
 
 
5.  (C)  Petrov said that the Joint Fact Finding Group (JFFG) 
started its investigation into the disappearance of David 
Sigua with a "substantive" meeting on August 6 in Gali.  He 
said the investigation included interviews with Sigua's wife 
and nephew and a site inspection of Sigua's house to 
determine possible routes Sigua's abductors may have taken. 
Because most of the UN JFFG team are military experts, it 
took some time to bring in outside experts with experience in 
missing pe
rsons, causing a delay in the start of the 
investigation.  Nevertheless, he characterized the meeting as 
a "good start."  The next JFFG meeting is scheduled for 
Friday, August 10.  Separately, he said that the two sides 
also had a productive Steering Committee meeting for the 
EC-funded programs in Abkhazia on July 4 in Zugdidi.  Both 
sides made compromises during the meeting, he said, and are 
now preparing their points for the third phase of the EC 
economic rehabilitation program.  The next Steering Committee 
meeting is scheduled for early autumn. 
 
ICRC initiative on missing persons moving forward 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
6.  (C)  Petrov said both sides are close to agreement on an 
informal working level meeting, hosted by the ICRC, in Cyprus 
in September, to discuss the issue of Georgians and Abkhaz 
still missing after the war.  Minister of Refugees Giorgi 
Kheviashvili is scheduled to attend for the Georgian side. 
Petrov also said there may be a higher level meeting in 
October, but no agreement has yet been reached. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
7.  (C)  Some of the lack of progress on the steps agreed to 
in Bonn may be attributed to the absence of SRSG Arnault, who 
has been away on vacation, and the seeming ineffectiveness of 
his deputy, Petrov, to push the sides to fulfill their 
agreements.  Petrov's unwillingness to assume responsibility 
on these issues was clearly evident during the meeting, where 
he repeatedly deferred questions to Khattak or Arnault, who 
returned on August 13.  We hope that Arnault's return will 
reinvigorate the process and will continue to work with him 
to push the sides to implement their Bonn agreements. 
PERRY

Wikileaks

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