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Scheffer’ Shoulder Was in Raincoat

05.07.2008 18:47

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili likes to use any pretext to cry on a NATO top-ranking official’s shoulder, mourn for his rough luck and request this “uncle” to speed up decision-making on Georgia’s membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.

For example, during his recent visit to Brussels to attend a meeting of the European Council he used this opportunity to wangle a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. He just wangled because this meeting was not on the agenda of the Secretary General. But Europe used to meet requests of the presidents, and NATO officials made the appointment yet they assumed what would be a subject. However nobody expected that the mournful talk will quickly descend into routine nagging. Saakashvili told to the Secretary General about a complicated situation in Abkhazia, complained of the Russian peacekeepers who allegedly fulfill their mission not as Saakashvili would want it, and begged for support of his initiative to replace them with a multinational force. And he just cried when he broached the matter of Georgia’s membership in NATO : we awfully want to become at last a full-fledged member of this Organization.

Scheffer attentively listened to the talker but according to a source in the NATO HQ, did not stroke-ore and wipe his tears. The Secretary General felt sorry for the Georgian President but not further to the deepest disappointment of the latter. Moreover, the Scheffer’s reaction was opposite to the expectations of Saakashvili. The Secretary General directly let him see that the Alliance is not going to interfere in resolution of the Georgian conflicts. Neither Brussels wants to send its peacekeepers in lieu of the Russian ones. The Georgian President also failed to get an answer on a deadline of Tbilisi’s participation in the NATO Membership Action Plan.

Of course, it’s a pity for Saakashvili! So many efforts and all in vein! So much cry on the Secretary General’s shoulder! But Saakashvili did not notice that that day preparing for the unplanned meeting with the Georgian President the NATO Secretary General put his raincoat on. It seems that for the next meeting he will take also earplugs. The Saakashvili’s cry is so mourning that Scheffer would prefer to cry too but not to interfere into the internal quarrel in the region. It’s too much headache in NATO affairs without Georgia.