Indirect Criticism or Just a Diplomatic Gesture…
20 January, 2011
Indirect Criticism or Just a Diplomatic Gesture…

Experts do not expect anything special from  Obama-Saakashvili meeting


While the Governmental media tabbed the meeting with the words such as “breakthrough in Georgian-American relations”; some experts completely downplayed the importance of the meeting and saw no fruits born from it (by the way, on the third page of this edition of our newspaper, you will find an interview with one of the experts).
Georgian experts do not expect any tangible results from this sort of meetings. This one occurred behind the doors in Washington on 14 January. According to the information from the Administration of the Georgian President, the leaders discussed economic, trade and security issues, details of bilateral collaboration and Afghanistan peacekeeping process. Barak Obama noted the Georgian contribution to the Afghan mission and thanked brave Georgian soldiers for their active service in the region, for their efforts in the stabilization and peace building. Barak Obama once again expressed his unshakeable support for Georgia. According to experts, the key message in the expressed support of the American President was driven by the participation of Georgian soldiers in the Afghan mission.
It turns out that the two leaders also agreed on the expanded format of the next meeting. The American President asked the Security Council to continue collaboration with Georgia on the issues discussed by the Georgian President and to report back on the progress consequently. Saakashvili thanked the American President for the continuous support of the United States for Georgia.
According to the website of the White House, the meeting took place after the commemoration of Richard Holbrook. Barak Obama was later joined by Vice President Joseph Biden.
The American President expressed his gratitude to Mikheil Saakashvili for his visit for the purpose of paying last respect to the memory of Richard Holbrook during the commemoration event and for the high Georgian State award to the deceased Presidential Advisor.
Presidents of the two countries spent quite a time talking about the steps that are undertaken towards economic and trade development. Naturally, the Georgian leader talked about the investments in the tourism sphere in Georgia.
One fact is for certain: diplomatic etiquette dictates to meet the President of any country; especially when the guest has arrived to your country to convey his condolences.
Experts suppose the Georgian President could not enjoy peace of mind during his stay in Washington because the American President was lavishly pelting Tunisian people with huge sympathies on the occasion of their President’s desertion following the popular uprising caused by social problems. Given that Georgian social life is not quite serene either, one would not rule out that in this way Obama was also criticizing the Georgian President indirectly. 
We should remember that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili flew to the United States on 11 January and attended Richard Holbrook’s commemoration event there. The event featured American President Barak Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Washington’s political elite, colleagues and friends of Richard Holbrook, and naturally, his family members. Several world leaders and high ranking delegations also took part in the ceremony.
It is noteworthy that during his Washington visit, the Georgian President also met with a number of American Senators; namely the leader of Republicans in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate and the Chair of the Armed Forces Committee of the Senate.
It remains to be seen whether the bilateral presidential meeting was driven by an ordinary diplomatic etiquette or Obama’s goodwill to dispel the rumors about the recent weakening of Georgian-American relations. One thing is clear that today the White House rarely points to Georgia on the world map. If American politicians still think about Georgia it is only because of Georgian troops deployed in Afghanistan.