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A meeting for the sake of a meeting?

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 5
President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili met on March 4. Statements were made separately by the two high-ranking politicians.

According to the president, the meeting was important and the meetings with Ivanishvili “are always interesting.”

Saakashvili underscored that all the main issues were discussed including constitutional changes and stressed that the talks on the issue will proceed.

The president said that during the meeting he raised three main issues.

“Those issues are the free court system, halting pressure on the media and the large-scale detention of the members and supporters of the UNM,” Saakashvili stated.

The president also stated that all his actions are targeted for the country’s advancement and popularization.

“One meeting will not solve the problems. I am thinking for the country and I am ready to stand by the current government and assist it,” Saakashvili stated.

The PM stated that Saakashvili was “unclear” in his demands and that Ivanishvili reminded him several times him to speak about the important issues and express his demands and views appropriately.

Ivanishvili stated that the media and court related problems are connected with the previous government more.

“As for the last demand concerning the pressure on UNM members– to tell you the truth, I could not understand these words,” the PM stated, adding that the president was speaking about 25,000 men when there are 7,000 appeals in the courts concerning former officials.

Concerning the constitutional changes Ivanishvili cited the president’s words.

“Saakashvili stated that there are some other countries in the world where the president has such power as in Georgia. I asked him to name such countries. However, he failed to answer this,” Ivanishvili stated.

In conclusion, Ivanishvili assessed the event as a “meeting for the sake of a meeting” without any real outcome.

“My only demand to the president and UNM members is to come to reality and act based on the country’s interests. Do not make such steps that will affect the country’s interests,” Ivanishvili said, adding that he will do his best to avoid any straining of the situation in the country.

“The UNM will not return to Georgia…Georgian [voters] decided this on October 1,” Ivanishvili said.

According to political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili, the president “is a slave of his environment and team,” and the Prime Minister “is the slave of his people,” who demand the restoration of justice from him.

“Thus, achieving agreement between the sides will not be easy, especially in one meeting,” Tsikarishvili stated.