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Geneva armistice is not a cover against bullets2008-11-21 09:34
Delegations of Georgia, Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia together with the EU, UN and OSCE representatives confirm the successful outcome of the Geneva meeting. However it depends on what is meant. The experts consider the result positive explaining that there was a dialogue and no quarrels like last time. At least that is good. Though after a short pause Moscow and Tbilisi resume accusing each other of war provocations.
Initially the Geneva negotiations offered to be inefficient and even scandalous. The hosts of the meeting did their best for the conflicting parties not to bang the door. Say the communication issue was solved: English and Russian were defined as working languages. Before that Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia insisted on the presence of interpreters.
The problem of delegation status seems to have been solved too: it fell off due to substitution of plenary sessions by informal consultations in two work groups where all parties were presented on equal terms. However...
Tbilisi triumphantly states that Tsukhum and Tskhinval requirements of equal status were not satisfied. "Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's representatives got private invitations. The status of their delegations is not equal to the Georgian or Russian" - State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili asserts.
Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's presidents on the contrary associate the fact of their participation in the Geneva talks with the acquired equality.
Let the opinions differ but the delegates sat at the negotiating table and nobody left. At least this is success! Both in Moscow and Geneva there is this conviction. The world does not know yet what judgment has been made by the three capitals.
Going back to the results that were made public: Deputy Head of Russia's Foreign Office Gregory Karasin concludes - the discussion in Geneva was "tough" but "we've had a good talk". Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General to Georgia Johann Verbeke states: "We have made a quality step forward leaving fruitless procedure-oriented disagreement behind and starting the discussion to the point".
Besides each party exhibited its fidelity to principle and inviolability of its position. Europe's image as a peacemaker was also secured. Brussels is now scheduling the next rounds that presumably will take place in Geneva on the first two days of December and then on December 15-16.
However Georgia could not conceal its skepticism purporting that the dialogue started in Geneva may last forever. Or in any case as the project manager of nongovernmental organization "Center of Development and Cooperation", a member of the oppositional Republican Party Paata Zakareishvili thinks - till "the new American administration that will be active next February-March has a clearer position on Caucasus".
As for the warming-up of relations between Moscow and Tbilisi neither politologists nor politicians expect this in the nearest future.
Meanwhile Amnesty International has published a report where it presents the evidence of guilt of all parties that took part in the war in South Ossetia. They committed "grave violations of the international law in the context of human rights" as making war against each other they made no difference between "war targets and civilians", the report goes. Accordingly humanitarian norms and civilized rules of war were violated.
Amnesty International admits that Georgia was first to attack. It is indicated in the report that at the time of Tskhinval attack on August 7 and 8 the Georgian missiles were crushing civil targets.