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Alasania comments on Berlin meeting

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, July 2
Former UN Ambassador and current leader of the Alliance for Georgia Irakli Alasania, who has just returned from a visit to the US, has said that the fuss about the Berlin meeting between former Interior Minister Kakha Targamadze and two opposition leaders was kicked up just to distract attention from the June 15 altercation between police and opposition supporters outside the Tbilisi police headquarters. “The aim of the PR campaign started about that meeting in Berlin was to somehow drag attention away from the crime the Government committed against peaceful civilians on June 15,” Alasania said on Wednesday.

Alasania noted that he had not been informed about the Berlin meeting. “It was a personal meeting between these people, we only co-ordinate our political actions. This meeting was not of a political one, that’s why I was not informed about it,” Alasania said.

The leader of the Alliance for Georgia denied having any links with Targamadze himself. “I don’t know Targamadze personally. He was part of the Shevardnadze Government’s state security system and nobody wants to recreate that system in Georgia. However, the present situation in Georgia’s law enforcement agencies is no better than it was in Shevardnadze’s time,” he noted.

“The Government is undertaking criminal activities, including installing bugging devices in opposition party offices. This proves that the officials are using the state agencies against their political opponents. This is a very serious crime,” Alasania told journalists in his office, while demanding an immediate investigation into this. “If the Government carries on behaving like this, the political crisis in this country will deepen,” he said. “Despite these incidents we will still continue to hold dialogue and meetings with the Government, we will bring it specific proposals about ways of strengthening democratic institutions in Georgia,” Alasania stated.

The opposition leader also summed up his visit to the US. He said he met the representatives of the new US Administration, White House Security Council representatives, State Department officials and Deputy Defence Ministers. He said that US officials told him that the main direction they will be working on in Georgia will be developing democracy in the country. “Everybody in the US understands very well that the main problem in Georgia is that power is concentrated in the hands of the President and that it is essential to strengthen other institutions, including the free media, Parliament, the court system and so on,” he said.

Alasania commented on US Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to Georgia, planned for the end of July, and said “it is a very important event. It is a very important signal for the Russian Federation. It means that the USA and Europe will not abandon our region, that the support for Georgia’s sovereignty will continue and the policy of non-recognition will continue,” he stated. The Alliance for Georgia leader said Biden’s visit will be a “clear signal” for the Georgian Government as well. “The visit of the Vice President means that the democratic changes the opposition has been talking about for so long must continue to be made. A competitive environment should be created for other political forces as well,” Alasania stated, adding that he supports “only constitutional ways of regulating the political crisis in Georgia.”

Alasania said that he will officially launch his new political party called Our Georgia-Free Democrats in the next couple of days. He noted it is planning to start an active campaign in the regions. “We will have thematic meetings in the regions and in the capital with representatives of different spheres of society. We will talk about all the problems and offer them not only criticism, but also our vision for solving these problems,” he stated.