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Bryza says violence should be avoided on April 9

By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, March 27
US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza visited Georgia on March 25. During this second visit to Georgia in the last two weeks he met the head of Democratic Movement-United Georgia Nino Burjanadze and the leader of the Alliance for Georgia Irakli Alasania. Later Bryza also met Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria.

The visit comes as tensions mount in Georgia over the arrest of some Burjanadze party activists and two members of minor opposition group the National Movement for Saving Georgia. Speaking to journalists after the meeting at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel, former Parliament Speaker Burjanadze said that she had informed Bryza about the latest developments related to her party. She said it is very important to inform foreign diplomats and international society about the events going on in Georgia. “I wanted to share all the information I possess and I am sure representatives of the US administration and the diplomatic corps will draw their conclusions,” she said.

Georgia’s former Ambassador to UN, Irakli Alasania, said that at his meeting with Bryza they had discussed his political team’s vision of how to resolve the current crisis in Georgia. “The serious support of the US for democratic development in Georgia is necessary, but I explained that the Georgian people should find their own solution through dialogue between the Government and the opposition,” Alasania told journalists.

The April 9 demonstrations should be peaceful, said Bryza after the meetings. “Everyone has the right to express protest peacefully, this is the democratic way, but it is necessary to avoid tensions,” the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State said. He said he has had a long friendship with both Burjanadze and Alasania and they have been working together to build democracy in Georgia. Bryza expressed the hope that the Georgian people will help the country to develop in a democratic way. He said there is a lot of work to be done in relation to the election code, court system and some other issues. “I hope this energy will be used to work on these issues,” Bryza noted.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Monitoring Committee is also visiting Georgia. Matthias Eorsi and Castrio Islam have met representatives of the Georgian Government and opposition politicians. The sides have discussed the current situation in Georgia and ways out of it. Eorsi told journalists after a meeting with Irakli Alasania that PACE wants to know what the opposition’s vision of the future of the country is. He noted that it was very interesting to listen to representatives of the opposition.

Alasania said Eorsi made several proposals for resolving the current tense situation in Georgia. “We will discuss these proposals,” the leader of the Alliance for Georgia said. “We all admit that there is a crisis, but getting out of it will depend on the conduct of the Government and the opposition taking the correct steps,” he said.

At a meeting between the PACE delegation and Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, the sides discussed the resolutions passed by PACE after the Russian-Georgian conflict in August and developments in the region since the military conflict. Neither side made any media comment after the meeting.