08TBILISI1417, GEORGIA – REQUEST TO LIFT AUTHORIZED DEPARTURE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1417 2008-08-23 11:28 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1417 2361128
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231128Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9945
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS TBILISI 001417 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ASEC AEMR AMGT CASC KFLO AFIN GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA - REQUEST TO LIFT AUTHORIZED DEPARTURE 
 
REF: A. STATE 85615 
     B. TBILISI 1344 
 
1.  This is an action request to M from Ambassador John 
Tefft.  See paragraph 2. 
 
2.  Embassy Tbilisi's Emergency Action Committee met August 
23 and concurs with the Ambassador's recommendation to 
request the lifting of Authorized Departure for Embassy 
Tbilisi.  Based on our assessment of the current conditions 
in Tbilisi and the fact that most of the Russian forces in 
the country have departed to Russia or to positions within 
the conflict zone, the EAC agrees with the Ambassador's 
recommendation that embassy dependents return to Tbilisi from 
Yerevan and that new employees and their families be 
permitted to proceed as scheduled to post.  We anticipate 
that once Authorized Departure is lifted, it may take 48-72 
hours for us to arrange transportation for families currently 
in Yerevan who are without their own transportation.  New 
employees and their families still in the U.S., as well as 
employees and family members in the U.S. on R and R or leave, 
may also require several days in order to make new flight 
arrangements to return to Tbilisi.  We appreciate the 
Department's support throughout this recent period.  The 
Chief of Mission fully supports this request. 
 
3.  The current situation in Tbilisi is calm and both 
Georgians and expatriates alike are beginning to filter back 
into the capital as summer vacations end.  There are no food 
or gasoline shortages, utilities and electricity have 
functioned normally, and the banking system and economy has 
remained stable throughout the crisis.  All the major airline 
carriers have resumed their regular service to Tbilisi and 
passenger loads are normal for this time of year.  Other 
western embassies, including the UK and Germany, are in the 
process of bringing their dependents back to Tbilisi (French 
dependents never left.).  Tbilisi's international school, 
attended by nearly all mission school-age children, it 
preparing to open as scheduled on August 28.  International 
teaching staff members have already arrived in Tbilisi to 
prepare for the upcoming school year.  We are eager to have 
family members back in Tbilisi to start school on time.  The 
Embassy's local guard force is at work and the mobile patrol 
is working normally.  We appreciate the Department's support 
in obtaining additional funding for permanent guards at the 
mission's largest single housing compound, which is located 
outside of the city. 
 
4.  We note that a large number of IDP's are currently in 
temporary shelters in Tbilisi; however, many are expected to 
return to their homes in the Gori region now that Russian 
troops have withdrawn from the main road and checkpoints have 
been disassembled.  We will be paying close attention to any 
reports of a rise in crime rates in Tbilisi or in the rest of 
the country. 
 
5.  Once authorized departure is lifted and family members 
return to Tbilisi, we will require RSO approval for employee 
and dependent travel outside of the capital area (also 
reflected in our updated draft travel warning).  As 
conditions continue to stabilize, we anticipate being able to 
loosen this restriction to allow more access to parts of the 
country outside of Tbilisi and will update our travel warning 
accordingly. 
TEFFT

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