A state commission has been set up, chaired by PM Zurab Nogaideli, to develop South Ossetia’s autonomous status within the Georgian state, Petre Mamradze, chief of the government’s administration, said on July 13.
A relevant decree has already been signed by President Saakashvili, he added.
The process, according to Mamradze, would be accompanied by “an all-inclusive dialogue” with all the forces and communities within South Ossetia.
The initiative is seen by many observers as a further boost to Dimitri Sanakoev, the head of the Tbilisi-loyal South Ossetian provisional administration.
South Ossetia's status within a unified Georgian state is a particular theme of his. Speaking at a high-profile conference in Batumi on July 3, Sanakoev told diplomats from EU-member states that his administration had already begun the process of defining this status.
Sanakoev's speech at that conference is part of a carefully stage managed effort by Tbilisi to promote Sanakoev internationally. It has also included a much hyped address to the Georgia parliament.
Last week Sanakoev accompanied President Saakashvili to Croatia to attend a summit, “Europe’s New South.” According to the South Ossetian provisional administration, he held a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Daniel Fried.