Georgia’s Prime Minister clearly stated that the approach Serbia has currently taken towards Kosovo is acceptable for him. You are aware of the fact that an agreement was signed between Serbia and Kosovo in Brussels. Using the agreement as a political or legal precedent will be detrimental for Georgia. Yesterday, the question was asked directly as to whether or not the relations between Serbia and Kosovo influence Georgia‘s plans. Bidzina Ivanishvili said: "Yes, this is a good example for us."FactCheck wondered whether or not the following citation of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s interview by MP Giorgi Gabashvili was true: “Yesterday, in an interview with Euronews,
Georgia’s Prime Minister clearly stated that the current approach of Serbia towards Kosovo is acceptable for him.”
On 18 February 2008 Kosovo declared independence with support of the US and the leading countries of the European Union.Those states, which recognised Kosovo’s declaration of independence, emphasised the unique nature of the Kosovo case. Condoleezza Rice, former United States Secretary of State, made the following statement:
“The unusual combination of factors found in the Kosovo situation including the context of Yugoslavia’s breakup, the history of ethnic cleansing and crime against civilians in Kosovo and the extended period of UN administration are not found elsewhere and, therefore, make Kosovo a special case. Kosovo cannot be seen as a precedent for any other situation in the world today.”
By the end of October 2011, more than 80 states supported the independence of Kosovo.
The tenth round of the EU-mediated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo was held on 19 April 2013 in Brussels. The aim of the EU-facilitated meetings was to normalise relations between the two sides. After six months of negotiations, Kosovo and Serbia signed the document which should serve as the basis for the normalisation of relations between Belgrade and Pristina.
According to the 15-point agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, Belgrade formally refuses to recognise Kosovo as a state; however, it recognises Pristina’s legal authority over the whole territory of Kosovo. Both sides agreed not to hinder each other’s European integration processes.This outcome of the facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo has been warmly welcomed by European officials. Serbia has fulfilled the promise it gave to the European Commission and has made moves to normalise relations with its former province. In response, the European Commission recommended opening membership negotiations with Serbia. European Commissioner for Enlargement, Štefan Füle, made a statement at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg: “Our recommendations today are, therefore, clear: both Serbia and Kosovo deserve to move on decisively in their EU perspectives." European officials and academics dubbed the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo as historic. The journalist from Euronews
referred to this particular agreement while interviewing Georgia’s Prime Minister.Georgian television broadcasters covered Bidzina Ivanishvili's interview with Euronews on 15 May 2013. The Euronews
journalist asked the following question: “Serbia and Kosovo have announced normalisation of their relations and initiated an agreement in Brussels. Maybe this example will inspire Tbilisi towards the normalisation of relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia?”
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili responded: “This is a very good example. It also reaffirms that the world is changing and the people who did not succeed in the past have now found a common language and have managed to somehow come to an agreement. So, we should do our best and settle relations with our brothers, the Ossetians, Abkhazians, and of course, with Russians.”
Zurab Abashidze, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Relations with Russia, commented on Bidzina Ivanishvili’s interview. The journalist asked Abashidze what the Prime Minister meant by using the Kosovo model for resolving the conflict in Georgia. Abashidze responded: “He did not say it was the best example. He welcomed the perspective of a peaceful resolution of the problem between Serbia and Kosovo and noted that restoration of territorial integrity should be achieved only through peaceful means.”Conclusion In the interview with Georgia’s Prime Minister, the Euronews
journalist referred to the latest agreement reached between Serbia and Kosovo. Ivanishvili responded that it is a very good example for Georgia. It is hard to determine whether or not the Prime Minister knew about the significant political aspects of the agreement signed between Kosovo and Serbia; however, in the second part of his response, he did not talk about the content of the agreement, but rather about the form of the agreement (“...found a common language and have managed to somehow come to an agreement.”) He expresses his desire to use best efforts in order to settle relations with Ossetians, Abkhazians and Russians.
MP Giorgi Gabashvili's statement: “Georgia’s Prime Minister clearly stated that the approach Serbia has taken towards Kosovo is acceptable for him” implies only political aspects of the EU-brokered agreement between Kosovo and Serbia on 19 April 2013 in Brussels and leaves the second part of the Prime Minister’s response out of the context.Therefore, FactCheck rates the statement by MP Giorgi Gabashvili, HALF TRUE.