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In Medvedev & Obama’s Dialog Saakashvili Turned Out to Be an Odd Man Out2009-07-07 18:05
On the very first day of the Russian and US Presidents' meeting Georgia was one of the topics of their conversation. Of course, this fact can be interpreted differently. Especially as during his press conference in the Kremlin Barak Obama repeated the well-known position of Washington on this issue. But maybe the presidents mentioned Tbilisi not because they had nothing else to discuss. It looks like the interlocutors' desire to close the «inconvenient issue» as soons as possible in order to concentrate on the main thing, the real reason of Obama's visit to Moscow.
As the NATO General Secretary Jaap de Hoop Sheffer predicted not long before the personal meeting of the two global leaders, Obama and Medvedev, Georgia did not become a stumbling block for Russia and the USA. According to RIA Novosti, Sheffer said: «I do not expect this issue to be resolved soon, but I do not see it as a stumbling block».
As RIA Novosti informs, in the Kremlin the American and Russian leaders stated that they were satisfied with the negotiation process. «The close-circle negotiations were quite productive. I have no doubt that we will be able to reach some progress on all the issues we are going to discuss», said the US President at the beginning of the wide-circle meeting. «We have not wasted our time, we have discussed some really important topics», noted Medvedev, in turn.
Later during his press-conference held in the Kremlin jointly with Dmitry Medvedev the US President Barak Obana said that he discussed with his Russian colleague the issues on which the two countries still differ, «in particular, we discussed the issue of Georgia ».
As is known, Russia has recognized the independence of the two republics previously belonging to Georgia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It happened a few days later than the end of the war unleashed by Georgia in August'2008 in South Ossetia. Tbilisi says Georgia will never resign with the loss of its territories.
During his press conference Barak Obama repeated the well-known position of the United States on this issue: «I have confirmed our conviction that the territorial integrity of Georgia should be respected. We also disagree with the current borders of Georgia. We are not interested in a military conflict, either. All these issues should be settled. The President Medvedev and me would like to give up rivalry and go ahead", said Obama, according to RIA Novosti.
In Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili made an immediate comment on the American leader's words. The speed of his reaction shows an evident fact: the Georgian leader continuously followed the process of the US President's visit to the Russian capital. By the way, in Georgia this visit became Topic No. 1 for literally all mass media. Local analysts made their forecasts, hazardous observers made bets, exactly as hot Caucasians are supposed to do.
Most experts agreed that the United States «would not surrender Georgia». Irakly Alasania, leader of the "Alliance for Georgia" opposition block who has just come back from his long visit across the ocean, expressed his special confidence in that. In Washington he had a series of important meetings. And he, as a young pro-Western politician that is greatly counted on could have been notified of some nuances of the coming Moscow meeting on the Georgian topic.