08TBILISI1845, GEORGIA NOT WILLING TO ACCEPT ARRIA IN EXCHANGE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1845 2008-10-06 10:11 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO9124
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV
DE RUEHSI #1845 2801011
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 061011Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0211
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0128
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 4695

S E C R E T TBILISI 001845 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/05/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL RU GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA NOT WILLING TO ACCEPT ARRIA IN EXCHANGE 
FOR UNOMIG RENEWAL 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (S) Summary. Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili told the 
Ambassador October 3 that Georgia was opposed to inviting de 
facto Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities to New York for 
an Arria-style meeting in exchange for the renewal of UNOMIG. 
 She also asked for United States assistance in convincing 
certain countries, such as China and Gulf countries, to 
attend the October 22 donors conference.  End summary. 
 
GEORGIA WILL NOT ACCEPT SOMETHING FOR NOTHING 
 
2. (S) Tkeshelashvili called in the Ambassador October 3 to 
formally state Georgia's opposition to inviting the Abkhaz 
and South Ossetians to New York for an Arria-format meeting. 
Despite  suggestions that such a meeting would be worthwhile 
in order to get a UNOMIG renewal, the FM declared that the 
Georgia is not willing to make what they consider a serious 
concession for a mission they see as not very valuable. 
Georgia would accept a technical rollover of UNOMIG, but is 
not willing to pay the price of Abkhaz and South Ossetians 
being invited to New York.  Furthermore, the FM stressed that 
Russia may agree to renew UNOMIG now, but then decide at a 
later date, even six months from now, to end the mission. 
The FM met with the Ambassador after seeing the German, 
British and French Ambassadors.  She said she had also 
instructed Georgian Ambassador to the UN Alasania and 
Georgian Ambassador to the United States Sikharulidze to 
urgently demarche us on the issue. 
 
ROLE OF UNOMIG 
 
3. (C) The FM explained that in the Georgian view, UNOMIG was 
not very effective prior to the conflict, and it is now even 
less effective.  The mission of UNOMIG is ambiguous and has a 
very narrow scope.  It is not tied to any peacekeeping 
mission and without a mandate, cannot be a security guarantor 
itself.  The only real role of UNOMIG now is to protect the 
human rights of Georgian citizens in the Gali region, but the 
FM thought that the existing UN human rights office in Gali 
could easily assume this mission. 
 
RUSSIA CREATING BARRIERS 
 
4.  (C) The FM said that Russia was playing a dangerous game 
in attempting to establish a pattern requiring all 
international observers wishing to enter South Ossetia to do 
so only via North Ossetia.  She said that Georgia had 
permitted this practice for humanitarian organizations after 
the war, but now Russia was seeking to make this a permanent 
practice.  This does not augur well for conceding to Russia 
on UNOMIG renewal.  If Georgia concedes on UNOMIG and allows 
an Arria meeting, not only will Georgia receive what they 
feel is nothing in return for a serious concession, but 
Russia will feel empowered to continue to play this 
obstructionist role in the future. 
 
DONOR CONFERENCE 
 
5.  (C) The FM also asked the Ambassador for help in 
convincing China and countries from the Gulf to attend the 
donors conference.  The Ambassador responded that while the 
Chinese may support the concept of territorial integrity, he 
understood they were unlikely to give money.  The FM noted 
that it was a hard time to have a donors conference given the 
poor global economic situation. 
 
BOMBING IN TSKHINVALI 
 
6.  (C) Finally, the Ambassador asked the FM if she had any 
information on the explosion in Tskhinvali, in which, 
according to press reports, six people (later seven) were 
reportedly killed when a car filled with explosives blew up 
near a Russian peacekeepers base.  She had no information at 
the time, having only just been informed of the incident, but 
replied that it was nonsense to consider that the Georgian 
government was involved.  The FM speculated that it could 
have been the Russians trying to stir something up to delay 
the peace process and the withdrawal of Russian troops by 
October 10. 
TEFFT

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