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One Saakashvili's PR stunt between recognition and non-recognition2013-05-22 14:04
Vanuatu recalls its own decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia. Will this affect somehow the relations between Tbilisi and Sukhum, and between Moscow and Tbilisi? After all, despite this decision, Abkhazia still considers itself an independent state, Moscow claims that the revision of the decision on recognition is out of question, and for Georgia Abkhazia and South Ossetia remain "occupied territories."
Mikheil Saakashvili has chalked up another PR stunt. The President of Georgia, being in Thailand at the summit of the Pacific Rim states, said that Vanuatu - an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, has recalled the recognition of independence of Abkhazia. The President referred to the statement by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu with whom he met earlier. "The Prime Minister of Vanuatu has informed me he was going tp recall the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," said in a statement published on the website of the President of Georgia. "Vanuatu's Prime Minister confirmed that his country recalls the recognition of Abkhazia and recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia. This is the first serious defeat of Russia on the diplomatic front. And hopefully not the
last," Saakashvili said. However, the president did not specify why the Prime Minister of Vanuatu has not openly informed on his decision.
Vanuatu is a Pacific nation in Melanesia, located at 83 islands of the archipelago New Hebrides. When Vanuatu recognized the independence of Abkhazia, neither Sukhum, nor Tbilisi or Moscow had information about this country. Then the Georgian politicians suggested that by this decision the leadership of Vanuatu intended to recall its existence. As time passed and passions subsided, everyone forgot about Vanuatu. Now the country has an occasion to remind of itself.
But can this fact affect in any manner the Georgian-Abkhazian relations? Probably not, since such relationships are now almost non-existent. For Tbilisi, Abkhazia is part of Georgia, recognized by the world community. Sukhum even does not intend to discuss the status. This topic is closed for Moscow, which has repeatedly stated that the improvement of relations with Georgia cannot take place at the expense of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
And what about the President Saakashvili? Most likely, the head of the country is "working off" the money. Recently, the Parliament of Georgia is increasingly talking about the fact that the President is spending thousands and millions of lari on foreign visits. It is unknown to what purpose he visits a certain country and with whom he meets. Now Saakashvili has a reason to justify these "investments": a kind of PR diplomacy on the part of the President of Georgia.
Members of the parliamentary minority, representatives of Saakashvili's party, share the delight of their leader. "Vanuatu has recognized Abkhazia under Russian pressure," MP from the "United National Movement" Gigi Tsereteli said in an interview to GeorgiaTimes. "This is a small country that does not create a political climate. And it was easy to force it. Georgian leadership has done a tremendous job in international organizations to declare Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories and stop the process of recognition and legalization. Much the same happened in the case of Nauru that first recognized the independence of these territories and then recalled the recognition. Georgia should continue working in this direction. Therefore, I believe that we should proceed with caution when making changes to the law "on occupied territories" in order not to create a threat to the policy of non-recognition," said Tsereteli.