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Compiled by Keti Baramidze
Monday, March 22
Paata Zakareishvili: despite everything Georgians and Ossetians have agreed on cooperation

Paata Zakareishvili has told Rezonansi about the recent Georgian-Ossetian meeting in Washington.

"It was a Georgian-Ossetian meeting in a civil format. The first such meeting was held in December 2009 and since then similar ones have been held in Yerevan and Istanbul. This latest one discussed the steps we will take in the future.

"The deplorable fact was that the Moscow Council wouldn’t give visas to two participants of this meeting: Costa Dzaguev and David Sanakoev. We were told that the Georgian Government had demanded this. If this information is authentic it’s a bit strange, but the Georgian Government only seemingly analyses Abkhazia-Ossetia issues. The USA isn’t Russia, it’s a federal republic and that’s why they shouldn’t have been refused visas. The Ossetians said that as the two people concerned are officials in Tskhinvali if the Georgian Government had given them the chance to get a visa this would have meant accepting their status. Here the Georgians are mistaken. The same mistake was made in Gali in 2007 when the elections were dismissed ostentatiously," said Paata Zakareishvili.

"We know perfectly well who won’t permit so-called officials to travel abroad. It’s unreasonable behaviour and we shouldn’t close our eyes to it. America is absolutely inert and considers that it‘s our own business whether we want Russians to visit America or not. The USA says it has nothing to do with this matter and will neither oppose nor support their entry. Europeans and Americans state that it’s better to allow this people to go abroad instead of visiting Russia as they’d then see what European integration means. They spend all their time in Russia and that is the reason they don’t want to have conversations with us. Due to our unreasonable politics these people don’t have the opportunity to visit foreign countries. As for our foreign partners, they only tolerate our politicians and consider that it is not their concern if we cede Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the Russians.”

"The meeting discussed the existing situation in Tskhinvali and also considered the freeing of the detainees from Tirdznisi. We also considered holding a meeting with Kokoity and discussed future plans. This was the official part of the meeting, but the others had read about Iakobashvili’s state concept on the occupied territories and wanted to hear my viewpoint on this. We also exchanged opinions about the possibility of drawing up an alternative one. So finally

I showed them the one published by the Republicans and explained that it was the only alternative document," added Paata Zakareishvili.

Asked what Ossetia wanted from Georgia, Zakareishvili answered: “They seek cooperation in supplying people with gas, electricity and water. They consider such cooperation is in our own interest. They also want to know what has happened to those people imprisoned in Georgia."

Irakli Alasania on the President and the Mayor

Irakli Alasania has given an interview to Rezonansi in which he talked about the Imedi hoax report about a Russian invasion and the role of the Tbilisi Mayor should his party win the forthcoming local elections.

"I consider that everything was planned and executed by Saakashvili. He wants to keep his own people in psychological terror and spread more fear and distrust. The fewer people vote in the elections the more Saakashvili will consider his aim achieved. The Government wants to frighten the electorate and convince them the opposition is supported and funded by the Russians," Alasania says.

"The President’s cynical effort provoked an utterly counterproductive and unexpected reaction which put him in a very awkward position. His reaction was a demonstration of irresponsibility towards the public. Certainly this will reflect on our image and will completely isolate us. We all know perfectly well who is responsible for this mistake and that’s why we must pass sentence on him by voting in the elections," states Irakli Alasania.

"We want the record of the phone conversation between the Imedi employees spread recently to be examined by experts and after establishing its authenticity we can discuss it. We don’t exclude the possibility of involving foreign experts from international organisations if the Government doesn’t let us examine the recording. The intervention of the President is a direct violation of the editorial staff’s independence and naturally it will have serious consequences," says Alasania.

"We are planning a complete system change. The City Council will be completely reestablished in a new way so the budget will be transparent. Every tetri will be controlled. We also think that the Mayor should not make individual decisions; the capital’s architectural development should be a matter for a special council. We have developed a project with a budget of 20 million and certainly this will help us solve the problem of unemployment. In addition to this, the Mayor will be the defender of all business. All illegal interference by the financial services agencies will be suppressed," Alasania concludes.