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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08TBILISI1417
2008-08-23 11:28:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Tbilisi
Cable title:  

GEORGIA - REQUEST TO LIFT AUTHORIZED DEPARTURE

Tags:   ASEC  AEMR  AMGT  CASC  KFLO  AFIN  GG 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1417 2361128
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231128Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9945
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
						UNCLAS TBILISI 001417 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC AEMR AMGT CASC KFLO AFIN GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA - REQUEST TO LIFT AUTHORIZED DEPARTURE

REF: A. STATE 85615

B. TBILISI 1344



1. This is an action request to M from Ambassador John
Tefft. See paragraph 2.



2. Embassy Tbilisi's Emergency Action Committee met August
23 and concurs with the Ambassador's recommendation to
request the lifting of Authorized Departure for Embassy
Tbilisi. Based on our assessment of the current conditions
in Tbilisi and the fact that most of the Russian forces in
the country have departed to Russia or to positions within
the conflict zone, the EAC agrees with the Ambassador's
recommendation that embassy dependents return to Tbilisi from
Yerevan and that new employees and their families be
permitted to proceed as scheduled to post. We anticipate
that once Authorized Departure is lifted, it may take 48-72
hours for us to arrange transportation for families currently
in Yerevan who are without their own transportation. New
employees and their families still in the U.S., as well as
employees and family members in the U.S. on R and R or leave,
may also require several days in order to make new flight
arrangements to return to Tbilisi. We appreciate the
Department's support throughout this recent period. The
Chief of Mission fully supports this request.



3. The current situation in Tbilisi is calm and both
Georgians and expatriates alike are beginning to filter back
into the capital as summer vacations end. There are no food
or gasoline shortages, utilities and electricity have
functioned normally, and the banking system and economy has
remained stable throughout the crisis. All the major airline
carriers have resumed their regular service to Tbilisi and
passenger loads are normal for this time of year. Other
western embassies, including the UK and Germany, are in the
process of bringing their dependents back to Tbilisi (French
dependents never left.). Tbilisi's international school,
attended by nearly all mission school-age children, it
preparing to open as scheduled on August 28. International
teaching staff members have already arrived in Tbilisi to
prepare for the upcoming school year. We are eager to have
family members back in Tbilisi to start school on time. The
Embassy's local guard force is at work and the mobile patrol
is working normally. We appreciate the Department's support
in obtaining additional funding for permanent guards at the
mission's largest single housing compound, which is located
outside of the city.



4. We note that a large number of IDP's are currently in
temporary shelters in Tbilisi; however, many are expected to
return to their homes in the Gori region now that Russian
troops have withdrawn from the main road and checkpoints have
been disassembled. We will be paying close attention to any
reports of a rise in crime rates in Tbilisi or in the rest of
the country.



5. Once authorized departure is lifted and family members
return to Tbilisi, we will require RSO approval for employee
and dependent travel outside of the capital area (also
reflected in our updated draft travel warning). As
conditions continue to stabilize, we anticipate being able to
loosen this restriction to allow more access to parts of the
country outside of Tbilisi and will update our travel warning
accordingly.
TEFFT