President Saakashvili has appointed Tbilisi-loyal South Ossetian alternative leader Dimitri Sanakoev as head of the provisional administrative entity in South Ossetia.
The presidential decree on Sanakoev’s appointment is the culmination of a process to legitimise the position of the alternative South Ossetian leader.
The process, which was launched last November when Sanakoev was installed as alternative leader of South Ossetia after elections in the Tbilisi-controlled areas of the region, is regarded as a major attempt by the Georgian authorities to shatter the decade-old status quo in the conflict zone.
A policy brief, issued by an influential Tbilisi-based think-tank, Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD), said last month that one of Tbilisi's major goals is to eliminate, or at least weaken, the ethnic dimension to the conflict.
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