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Saakashvili attends memorial for late US diplomat

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, January 14
The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili held important meetings in Washington DC. Having left for the US to attend a memorial service for the late diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, Saakashvili met John Boehner, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives on January 12 where the two sides discussed the issues of strategic partnership. Saakashvili became the first foreign leader to meet with Boehner since the Republican from the state of Ohio formally became the third-ranking US elected official. Thanking the Georgian President and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for joining him for a productive discussion, Boehner highlighted the importance of ensuring Georgia’s commitment to freedom and democracy.

Expressing his gratitude towards Georgia’s commitment of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, Boehner regretted losing those Georgians who have given their lives to ensure stability and security and to denying sanctuary to malevolent interests in both of those countries. “Georgian people understand all too well that the rights of a free people can never be taken for granted, and have been an important ally in our campaign against terrorism and radical extremism,” was said in a special statement released by the Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Talking of Georgians as “people that shook off the yoke of “absolute Tyranny” with the help of close allies and created a Government whose powers are derived ‘from the consent of the governed” Boehner stressed the US has long seen it as a moral duty to assist those who seek the blessings of self-Government and continue to stand with others struggling for democracy over the forces of despotism, dignity over degradation and freedom over subjugation. “In our discussion we also reaffirmed other cherished values, including the role and involvement of citizens in petitioning their Government and the necessity of peaceful resolutions to political conflict,” was further stated.

In the frames of his visit to Washington, Saakashvili discussed bilateral relations with two other congressmen, David Dreier and Bill Shuster, and also met with Senator Joseph Lieberman awarding him with the Order of Saint George. As Dreier told Rustavi 2, a childhood photo of Saakashvili will enter the book of 100 famous people within the Save the Children charity event. All the money from the book called “Yesterday’s Children” will be used for assisting homeless children throughout the world. “People prominent with different achievements have contributed their photos to us,” Dreier said, emphasizing Saakashvili’s participation in the event and stressed “Mikheil Saakashvili is our friend and a special world leader, that’s why he should also have participated in this project along with the other leaders with their particular merit in the world history.”

Political analyst Irakli Sesiashvili explained how the US authorities have been wrong in considering Georgia to be a democratic state to The Messenger. “As a matter of a fact, neither the people nor the other political parties can participate in the state processes fully controlled by the President Saakashvili and his ruling United National Movement. This all proves that the main principles of a democratic statehood are being violated by the Government. Moreover media, NGOs and analysts have all been monitoring the Presidential elections where Saakashvili received 52-53% of the vote when in reality not even half of the Georgian population supported him,” Sesiashvili told us.

Explaining that all these “kind words” to Saakashvili from the west and US have been the part of their lobbyist campaigns, the analyst worried that too much money is being spent on such organizations from the state budget and suggested that Saakashvili has thus been trying to “win the hearts” of his foreign colleagues by sending troops to different missions. “The west knows well that there is no real democracy in Georgia. Having expressed their serious support towards Georgia after the Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia failed in earning their trust. But what can they do when they are reaping the fruits of their labor? If we want to see Saakashvili’s real face lets simply follow his political steps and analyze the whole picture: He has been acting just like Vladimir Putin at first and finally “became” Alexander Lukashenko,” the analyst told us.