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Georgia backed by Wikileaks release

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 1
A meeting between Presidents Mikheil Saakashvili and Dmitry Medvedev is not scheduled to take place at the OSCE summit held December 1-2, Saakashvili’s spokesperson, Manana Manjgaladze stated yesterday. She also commented on the secret materials released by Wikileaks, Georgia’s achievements in sports and the recent explosions in Tbilisi.

“Our comment on the issue is very short, Mikheil Saakashvili and Dmitry Medvedev will not meet in the framework of the summit,” Manjgaladze said.

She also commented briefly on the world’s current most topical issue that is Monday’s release by Wikileaks of classified information including recordings of secret conversations between world leaders, some of which referred to the events of August 2008. According to the materials released, the decision to open fire on so called South Ossetia was not made by the Georgian authorities and all responsible Georgian officials, who might have done so, were on vacation at that time. They were mobilized only on August 7. Manjgaladze said, “What has been released concerning Georgia, that we were not the initiators of the war, was well known by the world for a long time.”

The US response on the issue was much longer. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs suggested at his briefing, on November 30, that while the Obama administration condemns Wikileaks’ release of secret government documents, the release does not diminish the United States’ role as a leader in global affairs. Gibbs opened the briefing by stating that President Obama was “not pleased” by the release, calling his characterization of the president’s position an “understatement”. Gibbs said that while “the stealing of classified information and its dissemination is a crime,” he doesn’t believe “the release of these documents impacts our ability to conduct a foreign policy that moves our interests forward.” He went on to say he “wouldn’t rule anything out” when it comes to legal action against Wikileaks, stating that in addition to an ongoing criminal investigation the administration is looking at “a whole host of” options.

The Georgian spokesperson also commented on the latest explosions in Tbilisi. (Two explosions took place in the capital on November 28, one on Marjanishvili Street, near the Labour Party’s office and the second in Mukhiani district.) “We will comment on the issue only after the investigation is concluded; we don’t think that commenting on the matter at the present moment is recommended,” Manjgaladze said. The same issue has turned into the most significant for the Labour Party, which has issued demands of the investigators. “There are the cameras installed by Vano Merabishvili (Interior Minister) and Gela Bezhuashvili (Head of intelligence service) in front of our office. As a result of those cameras they are continually controlling every person coming to our office. I demand the materials captured by those cameras to be used during the investigation or we will be once more be sure that the explosion was targeted against us,” stated the Head of Labour Party, Shalva Natelashvili yesterday.

One more issue Manjgaladze touched upon was the 2015 Europe’s Youth Olympic festival which has been awarded to Tbilisi to host. She said that this decision was recognition of Georgian sportsmen’s achievements and the ongoing changes in our country.

Talking on the secret materials, analyst Andro Barnov said that “There was nothing new in the materials on Georgia, however, following the release of the classified information, doubts concerning the launch of the Georgian-Russian war, will lessen.”

Regarding the explosions, analyst Irakli Aladashvili told The Messenger “I can only express my doubts on the issue; it is better to comment only after investigation is over. The organizers of the case might be local or foreign special services wanting to create disorder within the country, professional engineer-miners dismissed from their posts seeking revenge or international terrorist units seeking victims.”