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Temur Yakobashvili’s mistake2009-02-16 14:48
On February 13 the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1866 extending the UN mission in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone for another four months. Before that Abkhazia's Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba made a relevant notification to the UNSC Chairman Yuki Takaso on Sukhum's acceptance of the draft.
"The leaders of the republic had a close examination of the Security Council resolution draft of February 10 2009 on extension of the UN mission in the territory of Abkhazia; - the letter is given by Kavkazsky Uzel. - In spite of certain phases arousing our concern we nevertheless reconfirm our commitment to cooperation in provision of security, non-application of force, protection of human rights and adherence to agreements".
The resolution draft inter alia states that for the new mandate duration period - up to June 15 2009 - elements of the UN's future presence in the region will be outlined in accordance with the General Secretary's recommendations, results of Geneva consultations and developments on site.
Probably this served as the deciding factor for the Abkhazians to determine their position. "Considering the prospects of new mandate coordination that will take into account our requests and remarks based on new, changed realia, Abkhazia gives its consent to the UN Mission's extension in accordance with the coordinated Security Council resolution draft", - Shamba writes in his message.
Though the issue of formation of two independent representations in Abkhazia and Georgia that Moscow and Sukhum are pressing for is not solved yet, another thing is significant. In the text of the adopted resolution the UN mission in Georgia is entitled simply as "UN Mission" without any geographical designation.
Besides as Vzglyad newspaper reports following the end of the meeting Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin told the journalists that the adopted resolution had nothing to do with Georgia's territorial integrity. "The text has not the slightest reference to Georgia's territorial integrity which is indicative in itself", - Churkin emphasized.
By all appearances when the adopted Security Council resolution was under elaboration a decision worthy of Solomon was taken: to change the name of the mission maintaining its structure. Plus prepare a completely updated mandate by June. Certainly such measures might seem insufficient. However the differences between the parties and time pressure - the mandate was to expire on February 15 - needed decisive measures.