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Host: Hudson Institute. Following NATO’s decision in April to accept Georgia as a new member, Russia has taken a number of provocative steps in regard to its southern neighbor. In seeking to prevent the escalation of tensions in Abkhazia, the European Union’s External Relations Council has limited itself to generalized expressions of “concern,” while the Russian side has called for a “normalization” of the Russian-Georgian relations. From Tbilisi, however, a newer vision has emerged: direct dialogue with the Abkhaz and a peaceful solution of the conflict through “internationalization.” This view calls for a dramatic change in the peacekeeping apparatus currently dominated by Russia. To discuss Georgia’s new initiatives and recent developments pertaining to the frozen conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Hudson Institute’s Center for Eurasian Policy will host State Minister for Reintegration Temuri Yakobashvili. Mr Yakobashvili acts as the chief negotiator on Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Prior to his appointment to this post in January 2008, Mr. Yakobashvili was involved in the Georgian non-governmental sector as co-founder and member of the managing board of the Foreign Relations Council and the Atlantic Council of Georgia. He also served as Executive Vice-President of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies. His expertise is further enhanced by his 11 years of diplomatic service with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia as well as by studies in the field of diplomacy and international security at Harvard, Yale and Oxford.

Official Website: http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=hudson_upcoming_events&id=582

Added by insideronline on June 30, 2008

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