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08DUSHANBE1109 2008-08-28 11:30:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dushanbe
Cable title:  

TAJIKISTAN - SCO SUMMIT STATEMENT MENTIONS SOUTH

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1. (C) Summary: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
summit has concluded with bland statements and some confusion
about the members' positions on South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The Summit Declaration contradictorily endorsed Russian
peacemaking efforts in South Ossetia, and also welcomed the
six point peace agreement brokered by France. End Summary.

The Bland


--------------------------





2. (U) The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit concluded
at 1430 on August 28 with a Soviet-style "press conference,"
at which President Rahmon read a bland statement to the
effect that the summit was productive, members found common
ground on a number of issues, and cooperation in security,
economic cooperation, and the cultural sphere was developing.
After noting that the summit had discussed the issues of
terrorism, energy, and food security, and that Tajikistan
called for the establishment of an SCO anti-drug
organization, Rahmon dismissed the media in attendance
without taking any questions.

The Hopeful


--------------------------





3. (U) Russian President Medvedev made several remarks about
Georgia and South Ossetia during the open session of the
summit. In addition to condemnation of Georgian
"aggression," he thanked the other SCO members for what he
called their "objective evaluation" of Russia's activities in
South Ossetia, and said it would achieve "international
resonance" and send a signal to those who tried to support
aggression.

And the Confused


--------------------------





4. (U) The summit communiqu expressed the members' "deep
concern" about recent events in South Ossetia, and urged the
parties to the conflict to resolve it through negotiation.
The communiqu called also said "member states of the SCO
welcome the 12 August approval in Moscow of the six
principles to resolve the conflict in South Ossetia, and
support the active role of Russia in establishing peace and
cooperation in that region."



5. (C) Comment: We have no word yet on what went on in the
closed-door session preceding these remarks. In public there
was no mention of independence for South Ossetia and
Abkhazia, but the communiqu's expression of support for
Russia's role in the conflict appears to go beyond
neutrality. We suspect that Russia pushed the Tajiks and
their Central Asian friends a little further than they were
planning to go. August 29 will be Medvedev's official visit
in Dushanbe, and we await further words from him and Tajik
leaders on this subject. End Comment.
JACOBSON