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Georgian schemers and Caucasian confederation2010-09-02 12:42
Creation of the Caucasian confederation is gradually turning into an idée fixe in Georgia. Now Armenia, Turkey and Iran are viewed as part of this virtual Georgian-Azerbaijani union. According to Merab Janiashvili, president of the Association of Young Financiers and Businessmen of the republic, integration of South Caucasus countries into a single confederative state is inevitable. Isn't the forecast too optimistic?
Lately Georgia has been seriously considering creation of the Georgian-Azerbaijani confederation as a way to promote security in South Caucasus. This summer Mikheil Saakashvili stated that Tbilisi and Baku should set up friendly confederative relations. "We are each other's alpha and omega, - he said. - These are more than just problem-free relations - any better relations are simply unthinkable".
According to Georgia's deputy FM Nino Kalandadze, there is a technical consent on the part of Tbilisi over the issue. "The forms the initiative will take depend on the negotiations between diplomats, - Kalandadze added. - Presently the issue is not discussed thoroughly". The deputy FM believes that creation of the confederation will contribute to development of both states taken active economic partnership Georgia and Azerbaijan have been pursuing lately.
A highly publicized initiative starts receiving positive opinions in Georgia and gets reshaped in the minds of people. For instance, Merab Janiashvili, president of the Association of Young Financiers and Businessmen of the republic suggests including Armenia into Tbilisi-Baku integration plans. The region's number one issue is not ethnic confrontation or separatism but a permanent economic crisis, - he is quoted by Caucasus Online. - Armenia accepts Russian aid, Georgia depends on the USA, Azerbaijan sells energy resources, though all these resources are devoured by immense military spending". Merab Janiashvili also thinks that creation of a common economic space will be a step toward settlement of the ethnic conflicts. As it is believed in the Association of Young Financiers and Businessmen, the next step will be to start considering Turkey and Iran as future members of the confederation.
Here comes a question: how does Tbilisi see unification between Armenia and Azerbaijan? As we know, international organizations have been trying to solve the Karabakh issue for years and there is little to be said about any progress. Besides, it is unclear how Georgia will lure the states having direct geopolitical and trade interests with Russia into the confederation? Does Tbilisi seriously think that Baku and Yerevan will prefer friendship with Sakartvelo? The thesis on Iran's involvement looks doubtful too.
By the way, a year and a half ago Ankara proposed creation of a stability and partnership platform with Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Armenia supposed to be included in the format of cooperation. As a result the platform was a phantom project since official Baku considered it impossible to implement the initiative proposed by Turkey having the Nagorny Karabakh conflict unresolved. Besides, each of the five states had its own viewpoint on the origins and the result of the regional conflict.