Georgia's colourful and controversial President, Mikheil Saakashvili has bid his final farewell to the Georgian nation. The man who was always proud to lead from the front and to be at the heart of everything that was happening in his country decided to do so by writing a letter from Europe, where he has been spending the last days of his presidency. Saakashvili said that he will not be attending the inauguration of his successor, Giorgi Margvelashvili. Saakashvili said that he is going "for the moment to refrain from participating in Georgia's day to day politics".
So walks away into the sunset the person who has dominated Georgian political life for most of the last decade. His messianic vision of Georgia drove his ambition and his energy. He is however accused of doing so at a huge cost, trampling on the freedoms and rights of the Georgian people and indulging in misadventure.
Will he be back? Saakashvili is too young and too impetuous to simply retire to some University ivory tower. He is however both an opportunist and a pragmatist. He knows that now is not his moment. He will wait, and if ever the opportunity presents itself, he will return, on a white horse and with a sword in his hand, or at least this seems to be the plan. His popularity in Georgia at the moment is low, and if the new leaders of Georgia take the opportunity that the present political situation presents them with than Saakashvili's moment would have passed for ever; but if too many mistakes are made Misha will be back.
A raft of issues are complicating relations between long time allies Turkey and the United States. But both sides continue using diplomatic back-channels to get as many concessions as possible from each other without fatally harming bilateral relations, argues Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed