Europe’s Opportunities in Resolution of Conflicts in Georgia Restricted: Experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, 8 July/ corr. Trend R. Agayev, A. Gasimova, E. Tanriverdiyeva/ Though Germany is ready to help to settle the conflicts in Georgia; it is hard to expect Europe as a whole helping to settle the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, experts said.

"Thus, it is hard to expect Europe as a whole helping to settle the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. That said, Europe (particularly Germany) is more than happy to help advancement of political stability in Georgia," Tomoyuki Hashimoto, London-based expert said.

The disagreements between the self-declared South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Tbilisi turned into a military confrontation for the last week. After the tragic acts of terrorism in Gali and Tskhinvali, the self-declared republics accused Tbilisi of aggravating situation and on its part Tbilisi said that it was not involved in this tragedy and it accused Russia and self-declared republics of the acts of terrorism. Georgia hopes for the mediation of West in relaxing tension and restoring territorial integrity.

"At present the EU is unlikely to curry out any missions in Georgia other than to maintain the status-quo. The EU lacks leadership in the conflict resolution," Tomoyuki Hashimoto, member of the World Association of International Studies at Stanford University said to Trend .

According to the German expert Alexander Rar, Germany offers three-stage resolution of Abkhaz conflict. " Germany is ready even to act as a key sponsor of the economic restoration of Abkhazia," Rar, the director of program of Russia and CIS of the German Council on Foreign Policy said to Trend .

The Russian expert Vladimir Zharikhin believes that EU and West demonstrated their opportunities in the resolution of such conflicts in case of Kosovo and if these mediation efforts suit Georgia, the choice is up to Georgia.

"Unlike the European countries, Russia does not recognize the independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Trans Dniester, but the European union demonstrated its position on this issue in case of Kosovo. If such principal resolution suits Georgia, then it has a right to appeal for the mediation efforts of West," Zharikhin, deputy director of the CIS Institute said to Trend .

The expert said that the status of Abkhazia should not be discussed yet. "The status should be determined at the end of the peacekeeping process suggested by the foreign minister of Germany. All development options should remain open and sovereignty of the break-away republics as well. The first step which Berlin supports is the refusal of the Georgian, Abkhazian and Russian authorities to solve the conflict by force," Rar said.

According to Zharikhin, peacemakers have carried out only mission in the Georgian and Abkhazian and the Georgian and South Ossetia conflict zones, which stipulated prevention of military conflict between the sides. "Their task is to prevent military actions and they are still doing in spite of losses," he said.

"Generally, there is low probability for military actions in the region, because Georgia lacks real opportunities to hold large scale actions. It does not exclude the continuation of provocations, such as terror attacks, and major task of peacemakers, which are reinforced at the administrative border between Abkhazia and Georgia, is to defeat these attacks," Zharikhin said.

A total of two people were killed and ten were wounded as a result of shooting at the frontier line of Georgian and South Ossetia in Znaurski, Tzkhinvalski regions and in Tzkhinvali on 4 July. Blast in the centre of the Abkhazian city of Gali took place in the evening on 7 July killed four people and injured six people at coffee house.

After the collapse of the USSR, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which hold autonomous status within the Georgian SSR, declared their independence. Following the military conflict, resulting in the loss of Georgia's control over this territory, unsuccessful peace talks are being held. Tbilisi offers large autonomy within Georgia, whilst separatists do not agree with this proposal.

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