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Israel winning Caucasian game2011-04-19 15:57
The recent state of the Georgian establishment, common politicians and experts is close to shock. Israel, which has been one of Tbilisi's major allies, friends, supporters and arms suppliers, has suddenly turned hostile. Having visited Abkhazia, Israeli spokesmen signed cooperation agreements there and mentioned at the table that they have got much in common with the host: "problematic neighbours", for example. Georgia still cannot believe it, thinking this is a late Fool's Day joke of the eccentric Jews.
Georgian military got the strongest shock of all. TV channels often show the episodes of the recent past: Israel Ziv - the one who headed the Israeli delegation in Sukhum - shaking hands with the officials of the Georgian Ministry of Defense, giving them some papers. It was in 2008 when Global CST military-industrial company was training the officers of the Georgian anti-terrorist center. Company head Israel Ziv came to congratulate the soldiers who had successfully completed the training. Naturally, the event was shot to be shown the television. And now, three years later, the same Ziv is sitting in Abkhazia at one table with the local military and officials, discussing "purely economic matters" with them - he who is heading one of Israel's largest military
For Georgia, it must be a most painful strike in the entire history of its foreign policy, which is comparable only to Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The Israeli's visit to Abkhazia was brief: a short meeting with the president of the republic in Moscow, after which they immediately went to the airport where the sudden guests were met by the government in full strength. Common language was quickly found and at the end of the voyage, Israel Ziv uttered a phrase that would be discussed on the Sukhum quay for days: "Our peoples' history has got much in common, problematic neighbours, for instance".
Now the Abkhaz public is worried about a very important question: is there any hope of recognition on Israel's part, or the cooperation will be limited to economic contacts and cooperation in the field of defense, which is exceedingly important for the country and is extremely unpleasant for the "problematic neighbour"?
Israel's anti-Georgian demarche is, of course, a sensation. However, it fits the logic of the two countries' current relationship. The context goes as follows: Israeli businessmen Rony Fuchs and Ze'ev Frankiel arrested in Batumi last autumn were sentenced in Georgia to seven and six and a half years of imprisonment, respectively, for an attempted bribe.
A short prehistory: since the 90s, Georgia owes Rony Fuchs' company one hundred million dollars. European arbitrage has recently supported the Israeli and obliged Tbilisi to repay the debt. Afterwards, both parties behaved like businessmen in raspberry-red blazers from the beginning of the 90s. Fuchs met with representatives of the Georgian government in Istanbul where he said that his company was ready to transfer a certain share of the amount payable (98 million dollars and something) to any account so as the debt could be repaid in any possible way. Tbilisi, which was not going to repay anything, decided to organize common scam. An "invitation letter" was written by PM Nika Gilauri. He invited the businessmen to discuss the details of the upcoming meeting. The businessmen, thinking they are dealing with a state, not a criminal structure, rose to the bait and arrived in Batumi. Here, in a fashionable fish restaurant, they were given an arrest warrant instead of the documents to be signed.