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Lady’s Visit2010-07-07 18:50
The one who wrote theses for Hillary Clinton's speeches is well familiar with the Caucasus. Bright, promising, reassuring words of US Secretary of State gave no idea on the purpose of her visit. Her first destination was Baku for the talks with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev, then Yerevan for a meeting with Armenian leader Serge Sargsyan. Today Hillary Clinton was greeted in Tbilisi.
Starting from the beginning: at a press conference in follow-up to the talks with US Secretary of State the Azerbaijani president called the current situation around Karabakh "the major threat" to the country's security. Hillary Clinton replied that a peaceful resolution to Karabakh issue is a "high priority" for the US foreign policy. (It will be remembered that the States, as well as Russia and France, mediate talks between the parties. Diplomats of these countries act as co-chairs of OSCE Minsk Group seeking ways to settle the conflict).
Arriving in Yerevan Clinton brought up Nagorny Karabakh status issue again. "We are ready to help Armenia and Azerbaijan to find a peaceful solution to the Karabakh problem and put it into effect", - Mrs Clinton stated at a press conference in Armenia. - We realize that a mutually acceptable solution is not easy to find but we believe that a safe and prosperous future is impossible without it".
On her visit to Georgia Russia was given a curtsey: "Lately Russia has been supporting new punitive measures against Iran. Our cooperation on Afghanistan issues in Minsk Group continues to enhance. We are trying to find solutions and arrive at a unique opinion though it does not mean that we agree with Russia on every issue". The next thing Clinton said seems rather obvious: "We disagree with Russia on Georgian issue condemning Russia's continued deployment of troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia as I have repeatedly stated".
Nothing new, is there? Still I can't agree - with all due respect. The trip was thoroughly prepared. Everyone heard what he wanted. "The whole world wants cooperation between Russia and USA", - Hillary Clinton said. In other words: don't worry, we are not planning anything here".
Her assistant however came forward with a more accurate phrase: "In South Caucasus Clinton will have a chance to reiterate importance of US bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia supporting their effort in resolution of regional conflicts and consolidation of peace and stability in the region", - Phillip Gordon, US Assistant Secretary of State said before the trip.
Everyone realizes that after August 2008 events the balance of forces in Caucasus changed. The USA fail to "place themselves" in the region: there are too many who wish to on such a small spot. Caucasus has always been a clash of geopolitical interests of Turkey, Iran and Russia. After the collapse of the USSR Turkey started to show its interest in Turkic subjects. Iran too joined in the struggle for influence in southern regions of the ex USSR while the States were given an opportunity to solve their issues taking new US military units to Iranian borders.
Teheran, however, is categorically against deployment of US peacekeeping forces in the Karabakh conflict zone, as Seyed Ali Sagaiyan, Iran's ambassador to Armenia said on Wednesday. "It is too early to speak about deployment of peacekeeping forces. However, there is information that US peacekeepers might be deployed in Fizuli", - Sagayan said at a press conference in Yerevan.