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Union of has-beens on its way to Tbilisi2010-09-06 12:38
Tbilisi is full of joy getting ready for the visit of US former Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice accompanied by Mikhail Gorbachyev next week. It is unknown if the capital is happy to greet ex president of the USSR but one thing is certain: Georgia looks forward to meeting Mrs Rice. Her execution of civil duty for the United States aimed at the country's foreign policy restructuring was so delirious that it is hard not to notice: she and Mikheil Saakashvili will have a lot to discuss in private.
According to preliminary information Rice will come to Georgia as the head of an imposing delegation. Both she and Mikhail Gorbachev plan to hold working meetings as part of the 5th World Leaders Symposium involving young leaders of Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Russia. US Ambassador to Georgia John Bass has already stated that the visit is very important to the Caucasian republic: working meetings with representatives of the authorities are on the agenda. One thing remains unclear: what is the upper age limit of the young leaders if the headliners are much older than 30? Besides, where did four previous symposiums take place?
There is no answer to the last question. The symposium's official site features the agenda of the current event - "Global Challenges in a Post-Perestroika World" and the slogan that the world must be explored with those who are shaping it. Beyond any doubt, former president, former Secretary of State and deputy defense minister have a lot to say about their foreign policy experience that ended not quite well for their biographies, putting it mildly.
Giya Nodia, director of Caucasus Institute for Peace and Democracy thinks that the visit of the international delegation is purely academic and can't even slightly affect the current political reality in South Caucasus:
- Firstly, they don't have any objective grounds to look for points of coincidence between Russia and Georgia. Besides, there are no real levers of influence. Intermediaries are good when exact prospects are seen. Honestly speaking, I can't imagine someone thinking of them as intermediaries coming to improve these relations. I don't know how it is possible to teach something on a two-day visit: this visit is just a gesture. No one expects anything particular of them.
Meanwhile Giorgy Khutsishvili, politologist and head of the International Institute for Conflict and Negotiation disagrees.