President Saakashvili said on June 5, that Georgia reacted firmly and did not “swallowed” removal of “Abkhazia, Georgia” wording from the UN Secretary General’s recent report on Abkhazia. Civil Georgia reports.
If it were in 1993, [ex-president Eduard] Shevardnadze would have swallowed it as he had been usually swallowing everything else,” he said. “I personally called several senior officials from the U.S. Administration. We had intensive contacts with the French President, with many European ministers and I want to say – we had not had such support in UN since 1993 as we have within past few days and this happened because of our principle position.”
“We said that there would be no step back regarding the status of our territories. Regardless of any blackmail, any intimidation, any threats of our opponents, we will not sign such documents, which will put Georgia’s territorial integrity under doubt in the eyes of our children,” he said while speaking at a live televised meeting with locals in the town of Martvili of Samegrelo region.
Georgia’s UN envoy, Alexandre Lomaia, has claimed that the wording of the UN Secretary General’s report on Abkhazia was revised as a result of Russia’s “blackmail.” UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has “categorically rejected” the allegation.
“I saw that UN Mission last year, when the Russian tanks were approaching Enguri. And I witnessed that the UN Mission disappeared from there in ten minutes. The UN Mission, which evaporates in 10 minutes and leaves the people alone, is not worth of rejecting our rights on our territory,” Saakashvili said. He made the similar remarks about the UN observer mission in January, 2009.
“If Georgia maintains internal consolidation – I mean under conditions of democracy – it is simply ruled out not to return our territories. But it requires our peaceful diplomatic struggle on all fronts,” he said on June 5.
When speaking about “the principle position” of Georgia, Saakashvili also recalled the French-mediated talks on ceasefire with Russia.
“Russia sent a document, which said – Abkhazia’s status remains open. Our friends brought this document and told us: ‘This is the document; now it is up to you to decide.’ I gathered my friends, who said that it was very difficult to sign it. But not signing it would have meant that Russians would capture Georgia. Some foreigners also told me: ‘Either sign this document, or be sure that tomorrow Russian generals will be sitting here in this palace’. And I answered: ‘I will never sign something amounting to giving up Georgia’s territory and if they plan to come here, they will capture Tbilisi only at the expense of my life and the lives of my friends’.”
Saakashvili was referring to the initial wording of the August 12 six-point ceasefire agreement, which said: “[Launch of] international discussions on the status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and on ways of providing their stable security.” At that time Saakashvili said this provision had been revised in the agreement, because of its ambiguity, leaving room for different interpretations, including the possibility to question the Georgia’s territorial integrity. The final version of that agreement reads: “Opening of international discussions on security and stability modalities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia” – Geneva talks have started based on this provision in October, 2008. on August 26, 2008 Russia recognized Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence.