08TBILISI1523, GEORGIA: SITREP 25: NO CONFIRMATION OF AN ABKHAZ

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1523 2008-09-05 15:04 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6305
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1523/01 2491504
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 051504Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0039
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0088

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001523 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/05/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM RU GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: SITREP 25: NO CONFIRMATION OF AN ABKHAZ 
WALL 
 
REF: A. TBILISI 1513 
     B. TBILISI 1506 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
1. (C)  Summary.  UNOMIG has been unable to confirm press 
reports of a wall planned by Abkhaz "authorities" along the 
administrative border.  The OSCE was finally allowed to 
patrol north of Russian checkpoints and came within four km 
of Tskhinvali, but was again refused access to Akhalgori. 
Political parties signed a "Charter of Political Forces" that 
sets some ground rules for cooperation, at least while 
Georgia is still under occupation. The USS Mt. Whitney 
arrived in Poti with a humanitarian shipment September 5. 
End Summary. 
 
IS ABKHAZIA BUILDING A WALL? 
---------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) The press reported that Russian forces and Abkhaz 
"authorities" were beginning construction of a 3-meter 
concrete wall along the 80-km administrative border, but a 
Russian news source quoted General Zaitsev, chief of the 
Abkhaz "General Staff," as refuting the story.  Deputy 
Minister for Reintegration Rakviashvili told post the 
government has been unable to confirm the story, but is still 
investigating.  Although the ministry had received reports of 
actual construction, Rakviashvili suggested one possible 
explanation is that reinforcement of Russian checkpoints was 
misinterpreted as wall construction.  UNOMIG sources could 
not verify the story. 
 
3. (SBU) The press also reported that Russian forces 
established a new checkpoint at Teklati, just outside Senaki 
on the road to Poti, and installed anti-aircraft positions at 
various checkpoints.  Substantial Russian movements into 
Gali, including 32 tanks, 40 armored vehicles and 50 
personnel carriers, were also reported, although UNOMIG 
sources had no information about such movements. 
 
4. (U) Abkhaz press reported that on September 3 "President" 
Bagapsh appointed Sergei Jonua as "envoy" to the upper Kodori 
Gorge, where he will also serve as "head of administration," 
based in Azhara.  Another report cited Georgian officials as 
indicating that Zaza Gurchiani was also appointed "head of 
administration" in the Kodori Gorge; the relationship between 
Jonua and Gurchiani is not clear. 
 
OSCE GETS CLOSER TO TSKHINVALI 
------------------------------ 
 
5. (SBU) On September 4 the OSCE was allowed to pass a 
Russian checkpoint at Karaleti and traveled as far north as a 
Russian checkpoint at Megvrekisi, a small village four 
kilometers southeast of Tskhinvali.  The OSCE observed less 
war damage than it expected.  It did not receive permission 
to leave the main road and expected that Russia would be 
hesitant to grant such a request.  Meanwhile the OSCE was 
refused access to Akhalgori for a second day and will raise 
the issue again with Russian General Kulakhmetov.  There are 
now 27 monitors on the ground -- the 8 original, plus 19 of 
the additional 20.  New Deputy Head of Mission Hanne (a 
German citizen) is expected in Tbilisi shortly. 
 
PARTIES SIGNED POLITICAL CHARTER 
--------------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) Further to the discussion reported in ref B, 
representatives of eight parties and two independent members 
of Parliament agreed on September 4 to a "Charter of 
Political Forces" (text included below), and signed it on 
September 5.  Parties have three days to sign; after that, 
they are still free to sign, but will not necessarily be 
included in the Anti-Crisis Commission.  Embassy and other 
international observers were again present at the discussion. 
 
 
Text of Charter (Informal translation) 
 
(Begin text.) 
 
Charter of Political Forces 
 
We, Georgian politicians and representatives of political 
parties, consider that in the conditions of open Russian 
military aggression, it is important to agree on the main 
strategic issues of state development. 
 
We believe, consider and once more underline that: 
 
TBILISI 00001523  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
-- Georgian territorial integrity must be restored and the 
Russian invading army must leave all territory of the 
country.  Only after this can we start talks about 
normalizing relations with Russia. 
 
-- Georgia must become a member of NATO and become integrated 
as closely as possible with the EU.  It is important to 
fulfill the decision of the Georgian people regarding NATO 
that was made through the plebiscite of January 5, 2008. 
 
-- Georgian internal political processes must stay within the 
constitutional framework and consider the national security 
interests of the country. 
 
-- In order to deal with problems created by the Russian 
invasion, issues of the democratization of the country, the 
process of reform and creation of an atmosphere of dialogue, 
there must be created an Anti-Crisis Commission.  The terms 
and conditions of the Commission must be negotiated during &#
x000A;follow-up political meetings. 
 
(End text.) 
 
Opposition leader Gachechiladze and representatives of the 
Republicans, New Rightists and Conservatives did not attend 
the meeting or sign the MOU.  Former Speaker Burjunadze's 
representative told the group that Burjunadze would make her 
own statement when she returned to Georgia.  (Embassy Note. 
Burjunadze is currently in the U.S. to attend the U.S. 
political party conventions.  End note.) 
 
VISAS FOR RUSSIANS 
------------------ 
 
7. (U) Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Vashadze announced a 
simplified visa regime for Russian citizens, according to 
which visas will be available for $30 at points of entry. 
 
USS MT WHITNEY PULLS INTO PORT 
------------------------------ 
 
8.  (U)  On September 5, the USS Mt. Whitney anchored one 
mile off the coast of Poti with a shipment of humanitarian 
assistance, to be delivered through the Port of Poti. 
TEFFT

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