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Not meeting the U.S. President

By Messenger Staff
Friday, September 27
After his party won the parliamentary elections almost a year ago, Bidzina Ivanishvili stated that his first official visit as prime minister would be to Washington, DC. But this did not occur. And as the Georgian prime minister has announced that he will resign at the end of year, it seems unlikely he will meet the president of Georgia’s major strategic partner country.

President Saakashvili's opponents have suggested that President Obama has a less favorable view towards him than President Bush did. Saakashvili still managed to meet Obama but it was not an official invitation. It has been suggested that Saakashvili’s lobbyists organized this brief meeting.

Saakashvili and Obama met again briefly at the United Nations headquarters in New York on September 23rd. Saakashvili's critics have again suggested that the Georgian president's lobbyists paid money to "stage" the meeting. The meeting was brief and those who were present said Obama was surprised to see Saakashvili. The importance of the meeting should not be overestimated because Saakashvili will step down in a month's time.

Levan Berdzenashvili, a Georgian Dream MP, said Saakashvili was waiting for Obama to walk past and when he did, the Georgian president greeted his U.S. counterpart. Obama responded out of politeness and the two men spoke for a minute or two.

According to Saakashvili’s Facebook page, Obama positively evaluated Saakashvili’s governance in Georgia. According to the same source, Saakashvili asked Obama for support in the Georgian-Russian dispute.

It is certain that Georgian Dream did not appreciate the meeting, however brief. But the question remains: why was it not possible to arrange even a brief "accidental" meeting between Obama and Ivanishvili?

Ivanishvili’s opponents say Obama does not want to meet with the Georgian prime minister because the U.S. government has a dim view of Ivanishvili's policies. The real reason remains a mystery but one thing is for certain: it is really regrettable that a meeting between the U.S. President and the Georgian prime minister did not take place.