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The News in Brief

Monday, December 1
Government of Georgia will be changed solely by the people – Tkeshelashvili

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili believes that Russia has its own vision of the world. Tkeshelashvili made this statement as a comment on recent statements by the Russian Federation Permanent Representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin.

According to Rogozin, the USA is planning to dismiss Mikheil Saakashvili from the President’s post. “Georgia’s friends in NATO are very much disappointed in the prospects of Saakashvili personally. Saakashvili himself realises that Washington has taken a decision on him and another leader is being prepared for Georgia. Most likely, it will be Nino Burjanadze,” Dmitry Rogozin told Vesti TV. According to Rogozin, the ex-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament “has already been granted approval in the United States. She is liked there. I think, for the West, she will be a better alternative than tie-chewing Mister Saakashvili,” Rogozin noted.

Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili stated that Russia thinks about Georgia in terms of its own visions and attitudes. “Rogozin and other people in Russia believe that other states do very much as Russia does in the countries it has influence over – appoint their “leaders”. Russia has its individual vision of the world,” Tkeshelashvili told a Black Sea Press reporter. “It is not so in civilized countries.”

“The USA is not a country of that kind. The starting point for the USA is democracy based on free elections. If there is any decision about changing the Government it will be solely made by the Georgian people, who have been always respected in the USA,” the Georgian Foreign Minister pointed out.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian Foreign Minister likes US Secretary of State’s idea

Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili has said that a proposal made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about finding “other mechanisms” by which Georgia and Ukraine could enter NATO is “an interesting idea.”

According to Tkeshelashvili, “the British idea” was shared by other partners of Georgia and it has wide support. “Last time the issue of granting MAP to Georgia was politicized and that’s why today the alliance searches for a very interesting way out of this situation and pursues an open policy in this direction,” Tkeshelashvili noted.

Tkeshelashvili considers that after the Summit in Bucharest political support for the decision that Georgia would eventually join NATO was obvious. “We will be NATO members, and it does not matter in what way this is done and how the process of integration will go,” Tkeshelashvili stated, adding that one of the ways to ensure accession to the alliance was the plan of intensive dialogue between Georgia and NATO.
(Black Sea Press)

Kitsmarishvili repeats allegations

Former Ambassador of Georgia to the Russian Federation Erosi Kitsmarishvili made a speech on November 28 to representatives of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, human rights defending NGOs and the media, in which he reiterated that Georgia began the war with Russia.

The meeting was organized by leaders of the United Opposition in the office of the Georgian Ombudsman. While organizing the meeting they expressed a readiness to guarantee security to all in attendance so that they would be able to make speeches and answer questions the attendees were interested in.

According to Kitsmarishvili, Georgia could have avoided the war “In May-June we had a good perspective for this.” He repeated his previous statement that “the Georgian authorities began the war, but Russia knew about it. Russia was waiting for it and provoked the Georgian authorities in all possible ways.

“I kept silence during that time, but after I saw that an attempt was being made to transform the truth, that the public was being misled, I asked the Parliamentary Commission to listen to me. But this Commission did not want to establish the truth about the events. Speculations with regard to me were begun,” Kitsmarishvili noted. Kitsmarishvili expressed a readiness to cooperate with all Commissions that would be set with the aim of objectively investigating the events in August, but not the Parliamentary Commission which has just finished its work.

When asked why he kept silent when he knew that war would begin, Kitsmarishvili said that “the information about the war being about to start was not new, the mass media had informed the country, and not only once, that war was being prepared.” Kitsmarishvili stated that as a person close to President Saakashvili he hoped that he, with his critical point of view, would be able to influence the final decision. Starting from July he had tried to persuade Saakashvili of the necessity of establishing relations with new President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev.

“We need normal relations with Russia, as we do with other large players on the international scene. For 20 years we have called Russia an aggressor and among the people hostility was kindled,” Kitsmarishvili said, noting that “if we do not estimate risks effectively, we will always find ourselves in a worse situation.”

He stated that during two months of work as an Ambassador he did much to engender a rapprochement between the two peoples. He held continual meetings with representatives of the mass media and the Russian public. “The Ambassador’s task is to establish friendly relations. I had great ties with the mass media and intellectuals. New dynamics appeared for two months and a chance that confrontation might be avoided appeared too,” Kitsmarishvili noted. After he was recalled, he appealed more than once to Saakashvili and the Foreign Ministry to return him to Russia, but the request was refused, he said.

Kitsmarishvili added that he did not know at the beginning of August that an operation in Tskhinvali was planned. He learnt about the start of the war on August 7.
(Black Sea Press)