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Only two opposition leaders invited to meet Clinton

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, July 5
Only two opposition leaders have received official invitations to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 5, it was reported on July 4. This has irritated those not invited.

It had been announced that both Government and opposition members would meet Clinton, but only Irakli Alasania (Our Georgia-Free Democrats) and Giorgi Targamadze (Christian Democratic movement) have been invited. “At the meeting with Hillary Clinton we will one more time remind her of the importance of democratic development. We Christian Democrats expect Clinton to clearly underline the necessity and importance of democratic values and without progress in this direction, collaboration and deeper partnership relations with leading countries is unlikely,” Targamadze said. Irakli Alasania has recently finished holding official meetings of his own in the United States with leading American political figures but will also attend this meeting. His Press Service says that his US meetings were about the recent local government elections and the political situation in the country.

As for the other opposition parties, the Press Centre of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, led by former Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze, stated that "It seems the American side is not very interested in opposition viewpoints. Nino Burjanadze has not received an invitation and thus will not be able to participate in the meeting.” One of the leaders of the Movement for Fair Georgia, Petre Mamradze, said that "our party leader Zurab Noghaideli has not received an invitation, however we attach no great importance to participating in this meeting, as Noghaideli has met the Secretary of State several times and I am sure Clinton will raise all the significant issues our party leader had underlined during his meetings with her when she meets the authorities,” Mamradze said.

Manana Nachkebia of the New Rights told The Messenger, “New Rights has not received an invitation, but this does not surprise me as we were part of the Alliance and Irakli Alasania participated as its leader in such kinds of meetings. We are no longer part of the Alliance, but it will take time for the New Rights to be regarded as an independent party again and not be discussed in terms of the Alliance for Georgia. Nevertheless I personally will meet Hillary Clinton, as she will meet women politicians and women's organisation representatives, and the main issues I will raise with her will be the labour code, which is really discriminatory towards women in Georgia, and the election code,” Nachkebia said.

In a speech during her visit to Kyiv Clinton stated that Georgia remains the main subject of disagreement between America and Russia. "Our attitude towards Russian activities against Georgia is negative, and we disagree with the violations against media representatives taking place in Russia, however America is trying to find some common interests with Russia,” Clinton stated.