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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, January 22
Eduard Shevardnadze: UNM should be grateful for not being thrown the stones

"Has Saakashvili not gone?" former President Eduard Shevardnadze told Asaval-Dasavali, adding that the United National Movement (UNM) should be grateful to people as they do not throw to them the stones.

Shevardnadze said that Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has kept his promise and did not cause any street rallies or cause violence; while the only one who is accused of disorder nowadays is the UNM itself. "It is exactly in their interests to cause confrontation among the people and play the role of victims in front of our foreign allies," said the former president, adding that even during his recent visit to Kutaisi, President Mikheil Saakashvili had tried to encourage the students to resist moving the parliament building to Tbilisi.

Shevardnadze said instead of being the example of goodwill Saakashvili has always done the opposite. "I do not remember any examples when a president was in opposition against his own people," said Shevardnadze, stressing that people should feel that they have a strong leader, whom they can rely in.

He said PM Ivanishvili should be more active and principled and spend less time arguing with Saakashvili. "He has got the parliamentary majority and the people's support, so how can Saakashvili be an obstacle for him?" Shevardnadze wondered.

He said parliament should be in the capital adding that functions of Kutaisi cannot be connected only with the parliament building.

Do you think visits can improve relations between Georgia and Russia?

Mteli Kvira asked the public to express their opinion about the possible outcomes of

the Georgian Patriarch Ilia II's visit to Moscow where His Holiness will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Philologist Nodar Natadze thinks that even if the Patriarch will do his best, Putin and Russia as a whole will not leave Georgian occupied territories upon their own will.

According to writer Rezo Mishveladze, wherever Ilia II goes, he carries warmth, peace and goodwill. "However, I think this visit will have no results on the diplomatic level because Russia does not want to discuss the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," he said, adding that otherwise Georgia has no wish to cooperate with Russia either.

Jemal Chkuaseli, Artistic Director of Erisioni Song and Dance Company called Patriarch Ilia II the greatest "ambassador." Appreciating Ilia II's visit to Moscow, he said Georgia should have good neighboring relations with Russia, or at least try to do so. "I think the Patriarch's visit will definitely have results," Chkuaseli said.

Constitutionalist Vakhtang Dzabiridze thinks that the Georgian patriarch's visit to Moscow is a good political step. "When you are meeting with the Russian president it is impossible to fully ignore politics. The patriarch said he would talk about important issues for Georgia," Dzabiridze said, adding that the current situation is not "comfortable for Georgia or for Russia.