Political Background Discussion with Temur Yakobashvili

Berlin, March 25, 2010

Temur Yakobashvili, Minister of State for Reintegration and Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, met with members of the German Bundestag, representatives of federal ministries, government agencies and selected think tanks to discuss the Georgian strategy on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The discussion also focused on the relations between Georgia and Russia.

The strategy subtitled “Engagement through Cooperation” deliberately circumvented geo-strategic and security policy topics, since these were being dealt with at the Russian-Georgian talks in Geneva. Instead it concentrated on a humanitarian agenda, e.g. investment in education, the provision of healthcare, and infrastructure, which would all be of benefit to the residents of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Yakobashvili pointed out that numerous societal, political and international actors had contributed to the formulation of the strategy, and had an important role to play in its implementation.

The participants in the ensuing discussion welcomed the Georgian strategy as a comprehensive approach to defusing the tense situation in the country. However, there was some doubt about the implementation of the strategy in the light of the critical response from Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Political Background Discussion continues Körber Foundation’s focus on current questions of foreign, security and defense policy. This series has included the Political Background Discussions with Saad Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Lebanon, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, Shadow Security Minister and National Security Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom, and Michèle A. Flournoy, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.