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Clinton’s Caucasus Campaign Gains Tepid Results

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev exit the presidential residence in Zagulba on July 4. (Photo: US State Department)

She came, she saw, but did she conquer? United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s July 4-5 visit to the South Caucasus was all about emphasizing an active US interest in the region’s development, but local reactions to her message appear mixed.

International expectations for Clinton’s visit had initially targeted Azerbaijan and Armenia, where tensions are running high over recent cease-fire violations. But in the end, it was Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili who indicated the most clearly that Clinton’s message had found at least one receptive audience.

At a July 5 press conference with Clinton, President Saakashvili downplayed Georgia’s earlier concerns over the newly chummy relations between Washington and Moscow, saying that the so-called “reset” policy is providing immediate results for Georgia.

“I think the reset has brought at least a minimum sense of security . . . Ultimately, the reset leads to a more open, more modern Russia,” Saakashvili said.

To read the full story

Shain Abbasov is a freelance reporter based in Baku. He is also a board member of the Open Society Institute-Azerbaijan. | Gayane Abrahamyan is a reporter for ArmeniaNow.com in Yerevan. | Molly Corso is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.

Clinton’s Caucasus Campaign Gains Tepid Results

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