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U.S. frustrating Georgia’s hopes?2009-10-30 17:17
The first interview of the U.S. new Ambassador to Georgia John Bass turned out to be rather straightforward and not at all in favor of the ruling elite. In his interview to Rustavi-2 TV channel, he promised to continue the policy of non-recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; still, he also gave a bitter pill to swallow by saying that U.S. have got no plans to locate an anti-ballistic missile system in Georgia. On the same day, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow hinted at Washington having very small desire to see Georgia and Ukraine in the ranks of the North-Atlantic Alliance.
John Bass arrived in Tbilisi at the beginning of October. Up to yesterday, he had behaved in an utterly reserved way. The Georgian journalists even reported that, unlike his predecessor John Teft who used to give interviews lavishly, John Bass prefers to keep silent.
His silence was also supposed to have some meaning: does Washington think that this small country took an excessive burden that it will not be able to carry? Perhaps, freedom, independence and democracy cannot be attained that easily, or copied like a scheme drawn on a large sheet of drafting paper? To some extent, the guesses proved to be true.
At last, John Bass went before the Georgian public. Being a skillful diplomat with a good knowledge of the peculiarities of the Caucasian character, he made a positive start. "As Joseph Biden (U.S. Vice President) underlined during his visit to Tbilisi, the U.S. will never recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We do support Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and will continue supporting it", - the ambassador stated.
After that, following the Caucasian traditions, the American ambassador addressed the words of gratitude to the hospitable Georgia. It should be noted that it is not only the Caucasian people who are pleased at hearing such words; according to psychologists, this is quite an efficient method of gaining the affection of the interlocutor even if the conversation is going to take an unpleasant turn afterwards.
So, John Bass thanked Georgia for taking part in peace-keeping operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
At the beginning of August, the Georgian parliament approved of President Mikhail Saakashvili's initiative of sending an infantry company to participate in the mission. According to Ministry of Defense, the battalion will serve under the American command, while the infantry company is going to serve under the French command. The first group of the Georgian servicemen is going to be sent to Afghanistan this autumn and the next one in spring 2010.