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Misunderstanding or deliberate lie?

By Messenger Staff
Monday, December 10
On December 6, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said that due to the new Georgian government’s policies, Georgia has lost its chance to receive Membership Action Plan (MAP) from NATO.

This statement caused a lot of speculation among analysts, politicians and journalists. Meanwhile, opponents of the president stated that it was either a misunderstanding or deliberate misinformation.

“We were steadily progressing towards NATO. In Bucharest we did not receive MAP but we received a direct statement and all the documents reconfirmed the fact that Georgia would become a NATO member. This was a real geopolitical breakthrough. Later it was announced at the NATO summit in Chicago that by 2014, NATO would enlarge and Georgia was one of the main candidates. With this background, the NATO-Georgian commission session was held and after the Georgian elections we had a chance to receive MAP. There were discussions on this issue because Georgia held very good elections reaching a consensus between the Georgian Dream coalition and the President… there was a chance, and I was told at a very high level that it was possible to take another step forward in December [2012] and receive MAP at last. Unfortunately, the events of the last months’ (and I’m saying it with much regret) did not make it possible to happen,” Saakashvili stated while on a visit in Poland.

Mikheil Saakashvili touched upon the issue of improving this situation as well. Some analysts think that it was a chance that Georgia missed.

President Saakashvili spoke about the NATO ministerial which took place on December 5 in Brussels. Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze attended the ministerial. It is known that Georgia was not mentioned in the context of a country receiving MAP. NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen once again confirmed the open door policy towards Georgia reiterating that the commitment of the organization to accept Georgia for membership is still valid.

Minister for Euro-Atlantic integration Aleksi Petriashvili stated that somebody has misled the president. Georgian Dream MP Irakli Sesiashvili was more critical. He said the president’s statement was untrue– a cheap political step targeted at discrediting the ruling party and creates the wrong impression that portrays the new Georgian government as unsuccessful in the international arena. “This was a lie and he knows it himself,” Sesiashvili stated.

The MP also believes that interrogation of former officials in the prosecutor’s office has nothing to do with MAP. He said that Saakashvili's words serve a narrow political interests and this is a shame.

Many independent analysts share the same position. There is also the opinion that Georgia should carry out another plebiscite on the issue because the last plebiscite about NATO was carried out together with the presidential elections in 2008. It was by most opinions rigged. So if the presidential elections were rigged maybe the plebiscite about NATO could also be rigged.

Let us hope that Georgia’s Western orientation is genuine. Political manipulations can only discredit the country.