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Why Ivanishvili needs Palestine?2012-12-05 16:25
The fact that Georgia has approved granting Palestine the status of the UN observer has become a disappointment for Israel, and an unpleasant surprise for a number of Georgian opposition politicians. The leader of "Free Georgia" Kakha Kukava believes that the approval of the resolution on November 30 may have a negative impact on the future of the territorial integrity of Georgia. Simply put, the United States and Israel may "take revenge" of Georgia in the future through a demarche in relation Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgian experts told the Big Caucasus why Ivanishvili has "recognized" Palestine.
George Khutsishvili, director of the International Center on Conflict and Negotiation.
"On the one hand, there is a factor of cooperation between Georgia, the U.S. and Israel. This factor was to make Georgia adopt a solution on Palestine not annoying the U.S. and Israel. But there is another factor. 138 countries have voted for the resolution on Palestine, and only nine voted against. Based on this, the new leadership of Georgia found itself in the situation whether to support" or not to support the solution. My impression is that the power in this situation tried to assert itself as an independent player. Georgian authorities argue this way: we are the U.S. strategic partner, but at the same time we are an independent player, so in important international issues we must proceed from our own ideas, not from ideas of partnership with the U.S., Israel or anyone else. The Georgian leadership has developed a global picture in favor of this decision. This was confirmed by a number of votes in favor of a solution on Palestine.
If we were talking about granting Palestine the status of the country-permanent member of the UN, this would be a solution of a higher international level. Here Georgia would not have taken risks and spoken out contrary to the U.S. for example. The issue of granting Palestine the UN observer status - this is the question of a lower level. UN observer is not a UN member.
I wouldn't also like to bind the recognition of Palestine to the problem of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These categories are not equivalent. Georgia supports free partnership relations with all countries. The debate over "linking" Palestine with South Ossetia and Abkhazia reminds me another incident. Saakashvili once decided to open the border with Iran and introduce visa-free regime with the Islamic Republic, which caused terrible irritation in Washington. This happened after the 2008 war. Washington constantly reminded Saakashvili about the specific actions of the past president of Georgia. Seeing Washington's cold attitude towards Tbilisi, many countries alienated from Saakashvili. In case of Iran Saakashvili decided to show the world that Georgia had a powerful lever of influence on the political processes in the region. Having this lever we can either support or not to support some process at the international level. I think these two cases are similar. Of course, Saakashvili and Ivanishvili are completely different. But the ability to declare yourself an independent political player in a critical moment creates an affinity between Ivanishvili and Saakashvili".
Tengiz Pkhaladze, the head of the International Centre for Geopolitical Studies.
"Statement on Palestine was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Required diplomatic decisions on such matters shall be taken by the UN. Accordingly, these solutions require international consultation. According to the Foreign Minister of Georgia, such consultations have been conducted with the U.S. and Israel.