09TBILISI223, GEORGIA: SKEPTICAL VIEW ON CAUCASUS STABILITY

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI223 2009-02-05 14:43 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3852
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #0223/01 0361443
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 051443Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0899
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA PRIORITY 4191
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL PRIORITY 0427

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 000223 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/04/2019 
TAGS: PGOV GG TK
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: SKEPTICAL VIEW ON CAUCASUS STABILITY 
PLATFORM 
 
REF: ANKARA 00137 
 
Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES A.I. KENT LOGSDON FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) 
AND (D) 
 
1. (C) SUMMARY/COMMENT.  In a frank discussion, MFA 
International Organizations Director Sergi Kapanadze made it 
clear that the Georgians have no hope that anything 
substantive will come out of the Turkish proposed Caucasus 
Stability and Cooperation Platform, now or in the future, but 
were unwilling to be seen as the instigators of a collapse of 
the forum.  He noted that the late January talks were the 
"strangest" he had ever been involved in, as every party 
aside from the Turks had no interest in accomplishing 
anything other than an airing of mutual recriminations, but 
no one wanted to be blamed for obstructing the talks. 
Kapanadze, who accompanied Georgian delegation head Deputy 
Minister Giga Bokeria to the meeting, expected that Georgia 
will continue to participate in the Platform, but will also 
look to slow down meetings, water down any goals, and 
otherwise try to placate the Turks in what they view as a 
relatively harmless attempt to exert influence from Ankara 
into the Caucasus.  However, he did acknowledge that the 
forum could turn out to be a useful place to discuss other 
issues in the future.  END SUMMARY. 
 
THE TURKISH PROPOSAL - "JUST STRANGE" 
 
2. (C) Poloffs met with Georgian Director of the Department 
of International Organizations at MFA on February 4 to 
discuss Georgian views on the Turkish-led Caucasus Stability 
and Cooperation Platform (CSCP).  Promising at the outset to 
speak frankly, Director Kapanadze stressed the sheer 
strangeness of the late January CSCP meeting in Ankara, which 
included representatives from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, 
Russia, and Turkey; Georgia was represented by Deputy Foreign 
Minister Giga Bokeria.  He noted that of these five seats at 
the table, four are made up of odd couples that do not want 
to talk to each other, and the fifth is completely aware of 
the near term futility of talks, but firmly committed to the 
possible national prestige associated with sponsoring a forum 
for regional cooperation.  While the parties disagreed on 
most issues of substance, no party wanted to be seen as 
responsible for any breakdown in talks.  When asked about any 
contact between the Russian and Georgian delegations, 
Kapanadze said that nothing occurred beyond the typical 
"quarrels" often seen in official gatherings, and that 
neither side seemed interested in anything more. In separate 
conversatios with Emboffs, Deputy FM Bokeria relayed a 
similar cynical view towards the talks. 
 
THE SLOWER THE BETTER 
 
3. (C) Kapanadze stressed that, in his opinion, the primary 
goal of the Turks in the CSCP was to orchestrate a future 
ministerial level meeting, which no other party wanted.  Both 
the Azeris and Georgians openly opposed such a high-level 
meeting, the Armenians quietly noted their opposition, and 
the Russians generally appeared to be uninterested in 
anything.  If pushed, the Georgians would be amenable to a 
future meeting at the Deputy Minister level, but do not 
believe it would result in anything outside of a weak 
non-paper that avoids serious issues.  According to him, the 
Armenians were opposed to a Deputy Ministerial-level meeting. 
 Kapanadze stated that they are open to continuing the 
dialogue, but prefer less frequent meetings, and plan on 
telling the Turks that they prefer not to meet again until 
April or later as they are otherwise "busy." 
 
A NON-DRAFT OF A NON-PAPER 
 
4. (C) When asked about the status of any draft of a 
Q4. (C) When asked about the status of any draft of a 
statement or communique from the Ankara meeting, Kapanadze 
stated that the Georgians were waiting for a "quasi-draft" of 
a non-paper, but that it was getting progressively shorter as 
well as worsening in substance as the parties viewed what the 
Turks had compiled into a draft and requested changes.  At 
best, a watered down non-paper could be the result of a 
future gathering, but he stressed his own view of the small 
probability such a document would ever be completed. 
Instead, he believed that the most that could achieved was a 
ministerial meeting sometime well in the future that 
accomplished relatively little.  While not desirable, the 
Georgians appear to be slightly more open to this than the 
Armenians. 
 
GEORGIAN VIEWS ON TURK MOTIVATIONS 
 
5. (C) Kapanadze thought that the CSCP was a pet project of 
senior Turkish officials who surely understood its minimal 
 
TBILISI 00000223  002 OF 002 
 
 
chance for success, but regardless was viewed as essential by 
a Turkish government eager to increase its prestige in the 
region.  Kapanadze noted that the Turks had nothing to lose 
by organizing such meetings under the auspices of the CSCP, 
and even he said that it could turn out to be a useful venue 
to discuss issues in the future.  However, the participants 
besides Turkey seem unwittingly to have agreed on the need to 
minimize the importance of the forum.  Georgia was more than 
willing to t
ake part, comfortable in the knowledge that there 
was little to lose.  They believed that the other countries, 
equally eager to not have any negative publicity arise from a 
overt failure, had similar positions. 
 
 
LOGSDON 
B T 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
LOGSDON

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