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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, July 6
Kakha Katsitadze – the term 'occupation' doesn't mean the same in the West

Political analyst Kakha Katsitadze states in an interview with Kviris Palitra, "Things happened very quickly, before we realised it. The occupation of our territories turned out to be a great problem for us and required us to change our thinking. The Americans endeavour to explain that their ‘reset policy’ with Russia is a new approach to global policy and thinking not a distribution of spheres of influence. It will certainly take time to come to terms with this though. I am sure that the terms pro-Russian and pro-Western will completely lose their meaning after a year, gaining other meanings.

"The public celebration of the fact that the term ‘occupied’ is now being used by other Governments indicates that our authorities have a different interpretation of this term to the US Government. Medvedev’s recent visit to the US was followed by a meeting of the G8 at which Sarkozy, Medvedev and Obama released a joint statement about Nagorno Karabakh. This promoted the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict by Armenia and Azerbaijan, and Nagorno Karabakh was described as 'occupied' in this statement too. However, Azerbaijan did not celebrate this verbal usage. This may be because English is better understood in Azerbaijan than here," Kakha Katsitadze says.

"The term ‘occupied’ also means ‘busy’. If you notice, the toilets on airplanes and trains have a sign saying ‘occupied’. It does not mean that the toilet has been seized by evil powers and should be released but that the toilet is busy. The terminology seems to be a hangover from the Soviet period. Armenia had an American Defence Minister some time ago, an Armenian living in America. He said in one of his speeches that Nagorno Karabachos had been occupied by Armenia, and this caused great agitation in the Armenian Parliament. Nevertheless, the English meaning of the word was soon ascertained and the American Minister was no longer considered a traitor," Katsitadze says.

"Our Government is deliberately deceiving us. It says: America has declared Russia an occupier thanks to our efforts. But is this not simply what happened - Russia moved into Abkhazia and South Ossetia?" Kakha Katsitadze adds.

"There is a simple factor to consider: when the overall global system changes, the relationships between different countries change. This might not happen straight away, but the process has already begun and the visit of Hillary Clinton can be considered the initial step in this process. The domestic policy of Georgia will be affected by the changes taking place in global policy. We should not expect miracles by waving a magic wand but Clinton’s visit will be important as the start of something bigger," he states.

Inga Grigolia demands separate Department of Healthcare

Head of the Christian Democrat faction on Tbilisi City Council Inga Grigolia is demanding a separate Department of Healthcare. She says that the municipal body responsible for health issues is called the Social and Cultural Department and makes no mention of healthcare in its title.

Grigolia said that the election campaign had shown that Tbilisi residents need help in the health sphere and are interested in lower tariffs for dealing with healthcare problems. “Only 3.5% of the city’s budget is allotted for healthcare issues, we want this figure to be increased to 15-20%, as this will serve the public interest,” Grigolia says.