07TBILISI2796, GEORGIA OUTLINES WORK OF COMMISSION ON SOUTH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2796 2007-11-09 12:51 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2889
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2796/01 3131251
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091251Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8154
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 TBILISI 002796 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA & EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA OUTLINES WORK OF COMMISSION ON SOUTH 
OSSETIA STATUS 
 
1. (SBU) Embassy received the below letter and non-paper 
(full texts in paragraph 2) from Georgian State Minister for 
Conflict Resolution David Bakradze on November 5.  The 
non-paper lays out Georgian plans for the continued work of 
the commission on defining the autonomous status of South 
Ossetia, and suggests appropriate roles for the international 
community in support of the process. 
 
2. (SBU) Begin text: 
 
STATE MINISTER OF GEORGIA 
ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION ISSUES 
 
To: H.E. John Francis Tefft 
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary 
United States of America 
 
Your Excellency, 
 
Following the letter sent to you on 27 of September, I would 
like to once again address you with regard to the Commission 
on Elaboration of the Final Autonomous Status of the Former 
Autonomous District of South Ossetia within the Georgian 
State and offer you to take part in work of the Commission 
meetings. 
 
Attached to this letter you will find non paper outlining 
main objectives, principles and modalities of the Commission, 
which was established by the decree of the Prime Minister of 
Georgia in July 2007. 
 
The Government of Georgia stands ready to play more proactive 
role, urging international organizations, OSCE and EU member 
States to assist at expert level in sharing best democratic 
practices, as well as reviewing and analyzing the output of 
working group activities, which offers unique framework for 
interaction, cooperation and confidence building. 
Contribution of international organizations and interested 
states will be most appreciated by the Government of Georgia. 
Participation of the international community at the same time 
will guarantee that the final output of the Commission is in 
line with the best democratic practices. Besides, involvement 
of international experts will increase trust and confidence 
from the side of the South Ossetian local population to the 
work of the Commission, which is the key to the conflict 
resolution. 
 
Once working groups are ready to present the initial drafts 
(tentatively, by December, 2007), Commission will organize 
round tables, conferences and workshops on relevant issues. 
Participation of international experts in those events will 
be very important and very much appreciated. 
 
At a later stage, elaborated draft proposals will be sent to 
the Council of Europe, the Venice Commission, the OSCE, the 
EU, and interested member states for legal and political 
suggestions. Such a contribution will help Commission to 
prepare final documentation which will be fully in line with 
the best European practices. 
 
Please, accept Excellency the assurance of my highest esteem 
and let me express my hope of your contribution to the final 
success of the outcomes of the mentioned process. 
 
David Bakradze 
 
 
SUBJECT: Main Objectives, Principles & Modalities of the 
State Commission on the Future Autonomous Status of the 
Former South Ossetian Autonomous District 
 
A. Recent Chronology of Events 
 
In his September 2004 UN General Assembly speech, the 
President of Georgia presented a new approach to the conflict 
resolution process. 
 
In the following months, this new approach was developed into 
a concrete Peace plan for the Tskhinvali Region/South 
Ossetia; the President presented this plan in Strasburg, at 
the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly session on 
January 26, 2005. 
 
In fall 2005, the Prime Minister of Georgia presented the 
peace plan to the OSCE Political Committee, as well as to the 
European Union and NATO. 
 
In the "Statement on Georgia" adopted at the OSCE Foreign 
Ministers Meeting in Ljubljana on December 6, 2005, 55 OSCE 
 
TBILISI 00002796  002 OF 004 
 
 
member states unanimously supported the Georgian peace plan. 
 
At a later stage, the plan also was supported by EU 
statements and decisions, as well as by a number of national 
legislative bodies (including the United States Senate). 
 
In keeping with this peace plan proposed by Georgia, donor 
countries committed 7.8 million euros for rehabilitation 
projects in the region at the Brussels OSCE Donors' 
Rehabilitation Conference on June 14, 2006. The Government of 
Georgia pledged an equal amount to support common efforts 
aimed at confidence building and assisting the local 
population. 
 
However, the implementation of the peace plan was blocked by 
the de facto authorities in Tskhinvali and by the Russian 
Federation. 
 
Nonetheless, the Georgian side -- as a logical follow up to 
its peace plan -- continued to introduce practical measures 
for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. 
 
Accordingly, in spring 2007, a Memorandum on the Agreement of 
Further Activities Aimed at the Final Settlement of the 
Conflict in the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia was delivered 
to the international community and the parties to the 
conflict. 
 
In April 2007, the Parliament of Georgia adopted the L
aw of 
Georgia on Creating Appropriate Conditions for the Peaceful 
Resolution of the Conflict in the Former South Ossetian 
Autonomous District. 
 
The Law established a framework for setting up a provisional 
administrative territorial unit in Tskhinvali region, on the 
territory of the former South Ossetian Autonomous District. 
 
The main objectives in creating the provisional 
administrative-territorial unit include: 
 
Promoting the peaceful resolution of the conflict; 
 
Restoring the constitutional order in the area; 
 
Protecting the rights and interests of the local community, 
including all ethnic groups represented in the region; and 
 
creating appropriate conditions for democratic elections. 
 
After the Law's adoption, the Georgian Government invited all 
political forces and representatives of local communities in 
Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia to talks aimed at reaching 
 
SIPDIS 
agreement on the formation of an administration for the 
provisional administrative-territorial unit. All parties were 
invited to this dialogue, including the current de facto 
leadership of Tskhinvali. 
 
As a result of the consultations, those political forces 
willing to engage in the conflict resolution process and 
representing the interests of the local communities received 
a mandate to form the new administration. 
 
Accordingly, based on the Law, on May 10, 2007, the 
administration of the provisional administrative-territorial 
unit was established by a decree of the President of Georgia 
and with the consent of the Parliament of Georgia. The head 
of the administration was appointed by the President. 
 
The Administration, inter alia: participates in negotiations 
on defining the region's political status within the Georgian 
state; advances its own proposals developing European-style 
autonomy in consultations with the local communities; 
channels humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to the 
region and its population; carries out relevant governance 
duties and administrative functions; implements economic 
development projects. 
 
These developments led to the creation of a State Commission 
whose mandate is to elaborate proposals on the Future 
Autonomous Status of Former South Ossetian Autonomous 
District. The Commission was established by decree of the 
Prime Minister of Georgia in July 2007. 
 
B. Main Objectives of the Commission 
 
The Commission will promote conflict-resolution initiatives 
previously launched by the Georgian government -- including 
the Peace Plan and the Road Map -- and will seek to advance 
political negotiations that can lead to a peaceful 
 
TBILISI 00002796  003 OF 004 
 
 
resolution. The Commission will go beyond previous 
initiatives (which focused on the conflict-resolution stage) 
by tabling a comprehensive plan that includes proposals for 
the post-resolution period. 
 
Among the Commission's other principal objectives are: 
 
To create the requisite conditions and a comprehensive 
proposal for granting wide European-style autonomy to the 
region, guaranteeing political self-governance for -- and the 
preservation of national identity and the cultural rights of 
-- ethnic Ossetians residing in the area. 
 
To facilitate the participation of local communities, 
including all ethnic groups and political forces, in the 
process of conflict resolution. 
 
To promote confidence-building between the central Government 
and the local communities and to improve the general climate 
in support of the conflict-resolution process, economical 
rehabilitation, and social development. 
 
To create a positive precedent for conflict resolution in 
Abkhazia, Georgia. 
 
C. Working Modalities of the Commission 
 
All parties have been formally invited to participate in the 
activities of the Commission, including the de facto 
leadership of Tskhinvali, the Russian Federation, and 
representatives of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. 
 
Special emphasis is being placed on generating broad 
participation by local communities, including all ethnic 
groups, political forces, NGOs, and other interested 
partners. 
 
In its current composition, the Commission reflects the will 
of the majority of the local population, both Ossetians and 
Georgians, who are widely represented as members of the 
Commission and its working groups, and can therefore 
contribute to a peaceful, lasting, and fair resolution of the 
conflict. 
 
In order to prepare a comprehensive proposal covering all 
major aspects of European-style autonomy, five Commission 
working groups have been established: 
 
- On constitutional and legal issues: To elaborate the legal 
framework for a future autonomous region, to prepare the 
legal basis for the division of power between the center and 
the region in a way that guarantees both broad political 
rights and the integrity of the state. 
 
- On fiscal and financial issues: To elaborate the framework 
for fiscal and financial autonomy, to set up relevant 
financial institutions, to work out special tax distribution 
and budgetary transfer 
arrangements for the region. 
 
- On economic issues: To elaborate a special incentive scheme 
for the region's economic development, to regulate issues 
related to the distribution of property, to set up mechanisms 
for trans-frontier trade and economic cooperation. 
 
- On education issues: To elaborate proposals that guarantee 
the special status of the Ossetian language, to set up 
principles on which the region's education system will 
operate; 
 
- On cultural issues: To elaborate mechanisms for preserving 
the national identity and cultural rights of ethnic Ossetians 
residing in the area. 
 
D. The Possible Role of the International Community 
 
The Government of Georgia welcomes of the participation of 
international organizations and interested states in the 
conflict-resolution process. The international community can 
guarantee that the final output of the Commission is in line 
with the best democratic practices. The involvement of 
international experts will increase the trust and confidence 
that members of the South Ossetian local population have in 
the work of the Commission, which is vital to conflict 
resolution. 
 
There are no plans to include international organizations or 
interested states as permanent members of the Commission. 
Their participation will be limited primarily to issues that 
 
TBILISI 00002796  004 OF 004 
 
 
require international cooperation. 
 
The Government of Georgia stands ready to play a more 
proactive role in urging international organizations, the 
OSCE, and EU Member States to assist at expert level in 
sharing best democratic practices, as well as in reviewing 
and analyzing the output of the working-group activities. 
 
Once the working groups are ready to present their initial 
drafts (tentative target date is Nov 2007) the Commission

will organize roundtables, conferences, and workshops on 
relevant issues. The participation of international experts 
in these events will be very important and greatly 
appreciated. 
 
At a later stage, the draft proposals will be sent to the 
Council of Europe, the Venice Commission, the OSCE, the EU, 
and interested member states for their legal and political 
suggestions. Such contributions will help the Commission to 
prepare final proposals fully in line with the best European 
practices. 
 
Any other form of contribution is welcomed. 
 
End Text. 
TEFFT

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