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Georgia-Israel: problem solved, background pending2009-10-29 15:06
The Georgian delegation in Israel managed to come to terms on resumption of interrupted air communication with Tel-Aviv rendering Georgian-Israeli relations more optimistic. However hopes for revival of military cooperation are scarce. Recently ex FM Tsipi Livni on her visit to Moscow emphasized that the country would consider Russia's opinion on the issue.
The "air crisis" has been on between Israel and Georgia over the last few weeks. Air companies of the two countries failed to coordinate the flight schedule. Judging by explanations of Georgians Arkia company (Israel) deliberately planned its flights before Georgian ones in order to steal passengers from Airzena.
As a result bilateral air communication was suspended for several days. Agreement on resumption was reached only last night. Arkia and Airzena companies decided to make a liberal flight schedule without limitations.
As head of civil aviation department of Georgia Mamuka Khodzhelani told Rustavi-2 there "will be no more problems with adoption of flight schedules in future". Though it is unlikely that the issue of undercharging on Georgian flights will be solved.
Experts claim a political background of the scandal. A short time ago Israel stopped arms supplies to Georgia being pressed by Russia. Before that there was deterioration in other spheres of bilateral cooperation. In particular, it was remarked in spring that the inflow of Israeli investments to the Georgian economy had drastically dropped.
Georgian officials tried to improve the situation by attending negotiations and inviting Israeli businessmen to Georgia. Upon completion of opposition rallies investors started to come back slowly.
In July Israeli State insurance company Ashra that deals with the investments of Israeli companies brought Georgia back to its list it had been crossed out of after the war in South Ossetia.
It was immediately followed by Info Technology's decision to invest USD 93 mln to the construction of hospitals in Georgia. Later the representatives of Israeli agricultural companies expressed their intention to take up greenhouse business in Georgia.
All this time Russian militaries have been suspecting Israel of supplying arms to Georgia. Before the tragedy in South Ossetia in August Tbilisi had been an active purchaser of Israeli drone planes, mobile missile complexes, Tibur guns also giving Soviet tanks for modernization. Israel's military specialists assisted in creation and training of the Georgian armed forces.