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Saakashvili and Ivanishvili meet

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 10
President Saakashvili and the leader of the opposition party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, met on October 9. Both sides have made hints concerning Georgia’s future path and their merits for the country. The meeting also revealed the president’s position regarding the views of the current majority. The leading majority and minority representatives have also been represented at the meeting.

The sides emphasized that they have common views concerning Georgia’s foreign policy and its path to NATO and European structures. However, according to Saakashvili, he has a “fundamentally different view from the coalition on inner political and national issues.”

“The Georgian people have made their choice. We have always stated and will say in the future that we respect the choices of our citizens. The Georgian people are the main players in the country who determine the inner political situation. Of course, it is not strange that fundamental differences remain between us on a number of political issues– national issues, but as a President who guarantees the constitution, I will maintain that the government will function without any excesses,” Saakashvili stated.

The president touched upon the merits of the UNM representing Georgia as a democratic state when the losers have recognized defeat and made a step of collaboration towards the opponents.

The president was also sure that the country will have a “great future” and that the UNM will take a significant part in building this future.

Ivanishvili has emphasized that the meeting was the continuation of healthy politics “which was introduced by the coalition” in Georgia.

The coalition leader reiterated that Georgia’s foreign course will be preserved. However, Ivanishvili did not share the President’s pride that democratic values have been established and were made an example of by the UNM.

“The fact that my team set a precedent for changing the government democratically will be mentioned in history with dignity; that we managed to answer all unjust actions of our opponents suitably during the whole year,” Ivanishvili said, adding that Georgia will manage to be a NATO member country.

The meeting has been assessed by both majority and minority representatives. However, post meeting statements made by the current opposition seemed better more rigorous

UNM representatives assessed Ivanishvili’s speech as “inadequate” stating that the coalition leader was led by the coalition and not state interests during his speech.

“It seems that Ivanishvili could not realize his responsibility for the country unlike the President, whose speech revealed his great respect and love for the homeland,” MP Akaki Minashvili said.

However fellow representative of the GD, Nukri Kantaria, underscored that it is important to be careful regarding Saakashvili who can “easily transform.” He went on to explain that it is hard to guess what is hidden behind the president’s words. The rest of the coalition members have emphasized that Ivanishvili’s speech was appropriate and adequate to the current political situation.

Political analyst, Soso Tsiskarishvili suggests that it would have been better if the meeting was held between only Saakashvili and Ivanishvili. “As they know each other well and in such a situation they would have been more open and sincere,” Ttsiskarishvili stated. The analyst also states that there will be some other meetings held between the two figures. “The meeting was part of the facade of democracy. It is difficult to talk about it, as it is unknown what was going on inside the building,” Tsiskarishvili said.

According to fellow analyst, Kakha Gogolashvili, the meeting was important as the straining of the situation between the majority and minority is not in Georgia’s interests.

“Confrontation between the sides would have a negative effect on the country and disable both sides to fulfill their promises to people,” Gogolashvili stated.