on the silk road


Russia, Georgia green light Turkey-sponsored Caucasian union
August 15, 2008, 5:41 am
Filed under: Russia, South Caucasus, The Silk Road, Turkey | Tags: , , , ,
 
From the Hurriyet

 

Russia and Georgia have given the green light to Turkey’s proposal for a Caucasus alliance, as Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan met Thursday Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili a day after his meetings with the Russian president and prime minister. 
Russia, Georgia green light Turkey-sponsored Caucasian unionErdogan, accompanied by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, arrived in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi to meet Saakashvili over the clashes in South Ossetia and Turkey’s proposal for a Caucasian stability forum.

Turkey wants to secure peace, and to form a cooperation platform which would serve to develop common stability in the region, Erdogan told a joint press conference with Saakashivili.

“We asked Georgia to participate in this platform. Our proposal for was also welcomed by Russia,” he added.

Erdogan also said Turkey supports Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, adding he would visit Azerbaijan to discuss the security of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

Erdogan and the accompanying delegation later left Tbilisi for Turkey.

MEETINGS IN MOSCOW

The Turkish prime minister on Wednesday met with President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow where he underlined the “large importance” of regional solidarity.

 

Turkish and Russian foreign ministers would speed up efforts to develop the Stability and Cooperation Platform in the Caucasus suggested by Turkey, Erdogan said in Russia, adding Turkey and Russiaagreed to work together to develop the platform.

“We want it to conduce to an economic cooperation… We want it to lead to cooperation on regional peace and security,” he said.

“We also want this establishment to assume crisis management and seek solution in case of a problem in the region,” he added. Erdogan said the foreign ministers of the two countries would launch talks and develop the idea.

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Gorbachev Says Georgia Started Conflict

 

(CNN) — Georgian leaders may be blaming Russia for the conflict raging in South Ossetia, but former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said Thursday “there is no doubt” that Georgia provoked the clash.

Mikhail Gorbachev told CNN's Larry King that Russia called extra troops into Georgia to stem violence.

Mikhail Gorbachev told CNN’s Larry King that Russia called extra troops into Georgia to stem violence.

Gorbachev told CNN’s Larry King that Russia moved additional forces into South Ossetia in response to “devastation” in the South Ossetia city of Tskhinvali.

“This was the use of sophisticated weapons against a small town, against a sleeping people. This was a barbaric assault,” said Gorbachev, the last president of the former Soviet Union.

But Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who also appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Thursday, said he was “profoundly shocked” that Mikhail Gorbachev would use a television appearance “for basically vindicating lies and deceptions.”

Last week, Georgia said it launched an operation into South Ossetia after a cease-fire was broken with artillery fire from Russian separatists that killed 10 people including civilians and peacekeepers. It accused Russia, which also has peacekeepers in the region, of backing the separatists.

Hours later, the Russian news agency Interfax reported that Russian authorities said 10 Russian peacekeepers had been killed and 30 wounded in an attack by Georgians.

“Western television didn’t show what happened in Tskhinvali,” Gorbachev said. “Only now they’re beginning to show some pictures of the destruction. So this looks to me like it was a well-prepared project. And with any outcome, they wanted to put the blame on Russia.”

He called Georgia’s claims that Russia is attempting to dismantle its democracy “all lies from beginning to end.”

In response, Saakashvili expressed disappointment with the sentiments from Gorbachev, who he said he once respected.

“This is the man, Mr. Gorbachev, who helped to, you know, bring down KGB kingdom. And he is the one who is, you know, justifying what the KGB people are doing right now in my country,” Saakashvili said.

“Shame on him. Shame on you, Mr. Gorbachev, for perpetuating the very regime you helped to defeat and you fought against as the head of the Soviet Union.”

Gorbachev also said the United States is jeopardizing its fragile relationship with Russia by backing Georgia. Video Watch Gorbachev discuss U.S.-Russia relations »

“There is a chance for our two countries to develop a new agenda for cooperation so as to promote both U.S. and Russia interests, and the interests of other countries, and the interests of stability, particularly in the hotspots in different continents,” said Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Peace Price in 1990. 

 



Confidence Rises for Ossetia, Abkhazia After Fighting

MOSCOW (Reuters)–Georgia’s efforts to bring the breakaway region of South Ossetia to heel have backfired so drastically that it may have lost control of both it and rebel-held Abkhazia for good. Western diplomats and analysts said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has little hope of reasserting his authority in the two regions after his failed invasion of South Ossetia.

A ceasefire agreement to end nearly a week of fighting between Georgian and Russian troops has given a new sense of confidence to the separatists in Abkhazia, and in mountainous South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which hugs the Black Sea.

Sergei Shamba, the foreign minister of Abkhazia, told Reuters that Georgia should now accept it is a separate country.

“We have held talks with Georgia for 15 years and now we will only talk with them after recognition of our independence,” Shamba said. “There have been several drafts and they rejected them all. It’s clear to me that it’s pointless talking to them.”

South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity made similar independence demands on Wednesday, Russian media reported.

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Confidence Rises for Ossetia, Abkhazia After Fighting

From Asbarez.com

MOSCOW (Reuters)–Georgia’s efforts to bring the breakaway region of South Ossetia to heel have backfired so drastically that it may have lost control of both it and rebel-held Abkhazia for good. Western diplomats and analysts said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has little hope of reasserting his authority in the two regions after his failed invasion of South Ossetia.

A ceasefire agreement to end nearly a week of fighting between Georgian and Russian troops has given a new sense of confidence to the separatists in Abkhazia, and in mountainous South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which hugs the Black Sea.

Sergei Shamba, the foreign minister of Abkhazia, told Reuters that Georgia should now accept it is a separate country.

“We have held talks with Georgia for 15 years and now we will only talk with them after recognition of our independence,” Shamba said. “There have been several drafts and they rejected them all. It’s clear to me that it’s pointless talking to them.”

South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity made similar independence demands on Wednesday, Russian media reported.

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Yerevan Reaffirms Support For CIS

From Asbarez

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia reaffirmed its “long-term” commitment to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on Wednesday following neighboring Georgia’s decision to leave the Russian-led grouping of 12 former Soviet republics in protest against Russia’s military operations in Georgia.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced the move during a big rally in Tbilisi on Tuesday. “We are leaving the CIS for good and propose that other countries leave this body run by Russia,” he said, again accusing Moscow of unleashing a military aggression against his nation.

None of the other CIS countries, including those with uneasy relations with Russia, has headed Saakashvili’s call so far.

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Sarkisian Discusses Georgia Crisis With Russia’s Medvedev

From Asbarez

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Breaking his silence on the crisis in neighboring Georgia, President Serzh Sarkisian telephoned his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday to discuss the developments of the past week.

“During the phone conversation President Dmitry Medvedev briefed Serzh Sarkisian on the course of negotiations aimed at finding a way out of the situation,” the Armenian leader’s press office said in a statement. “The presidents of the two countries agreed to hold, if need be, additional consultations on further developments.”

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Armenia’s Suply Lines ‘Fully Restored’

From Asbarez.com

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan announced on Wednesday a full restoration of Armenia’s transport communication with the outside world that was disrupted by the conflict between neighboring Georgia and Russia.

He also said that Georgia is gradually restoring supplies of Russian natural gas to Armenia via its territory to pre-conflict levels.

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