Monday, October 10, 2011

Week 3-9 Oct.: One step too far

XVII Session of the Geneva International Discussions, diplomatic visits and "presidential" revivals: and a bit above the lines.

As for the first, it was the last session with the participation of who was the engine of the Discussions, from the very beginning, the Special Representative for Crisis in Georgia appointed in 2008, Pierre Morel.
His successor, Philippe Lefort inherits a not easy task. The second working group is practically stuck and not all the parties are actively attending to its work. Moreover, the statement by the Georgian side is very assertive. It gives the impression that Tbilisi is really trying to push Russia in the corner. The references to the "terrorist acts undertaken by the Russian special services on the territory"( is somehow disturbing in the wording. The allegation is so severe that - before a proper investigation - no final assessment should be formulated.

Georgia found some encouragement by the words of French President Sarkozy, who toured the region. Welcome like a national hero, for having brooked the cease-fire, he held a speech in Liberty Square. Not all his statements may have met the expectations of his hosts, but one sentence immediately echoed everywhere: that Georgia "must be free to express its aspiration to move towards the European Union and to one day join it" and “As far as I am concerned, when I am in Tbilisi, I feel like I am in Europe.” Words with a different shade than the once pronounced usually by Brussels officials who usually refer to integration and not to membership. Words who will remain well impressed in the mind of the Georgian public and that are to create a lot of expectations.
In the meanwhile, Ankvab visited for the first time the Kremlin in his official role of new "President" of Abkhazia.

In Armenia, Levon Ter Petrosyan is in the streets again. A city of tents, which recalls the similar - unsuccessful - initiative undertaken more or less with the same modalities and with similar aims by Georgian opposition in 2009. Or by himself in 2008, but when it was to protest again election alleged frauds. And it ended up very badly.
A revival? with the claims of Kocharyan that he may go back to politics and run for presidency, it looks like a revival not of 2008, but of 1998.
I think that the point is not who will manage to get more votes, but how to drag Armenians to the ballot boxes, with the presidential mandate permanently bouncing among the same people...
Kocharyan suggests there' s a strong demand for his commitment. Well, it sound like a bold comment...

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