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Georgia as presented by Saakashvili from the UN podium

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 28
Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili made a speech at the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. It was divided into two parts, the first criticising Russia, although he did not mention this country by name, and the second promoting Georgia’s democratic achievements and prospects.

Saakashvili spoke about the Berlin Wall and its demolition 20 years ago and mentioned that now there is a new wall, created by the same people who erected the Berlin Wall and were unwilling to demolish it. Saakashvili spoke about the Kremlin’s aggression and its ethnic cleansing of Georgian people from the occupied territories. He urged the West to make an energetic response to the aggressor to avoid global consequences.

Saakashvili’s speech was welcomed by the members of his administration but as expected a number of analysts and opposition members made critical comments. They have pointed out that the hall was almost empty and very few of the international Governmental delegates heard him. “He was given the floor and there was nobody in the hall,” commented one of the leaders of Labour Party, Giorgi Gugava. Conservative Kakha Kukava considered that the President had made a mistake in concentrating on anti-Russian sentiments as very many African, Asian and Latin American countries are Russian-oriented. However the greatest opposition criticism was reserved for that part of Saakashvili’s speech which touched upon democratic achievements and economic success. Some opposition members were surprised that nobody responded to Saakashvili’s comments, but it was explained to them later that at the UN General Assembly people listen to each other and don’t argue.

The opposition think that Saakashvili’s UN speech will most probably yield no results. Much more important, they say, are the conclusions that will be drawn by the EU fact finding Commission, which they say will further weaken Saakashvili’s position. However it should be admitted that Saakashvili highlighted the major international issue for Georgia, the Russian aggression. As for domestic problems they should be resolved locally, and the opposition should dedicate more energy to consolidating themselves into a cohesive force and developing a convincing action plan.

The UN tribune is not the place to discuss domestic issues, as the same institution is already involved in a different manner in Georgia’s internal problems, together with the EU, OSCE and so on.