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Biden’s visit to Tbilisi: no promising the moon2009-07-23 23:06
Georgia is begging the US for help, demonstrating its loyalty and "helplessness" to the foreign state. Mikhail Saakashvili receives the American supervisor, Vice President Joseph Biden, and the opposition make up a list of their president's sins to be submitted to Biden.
Dog specialists in the main streets and squares, metro stations closed to ensure security of the city center, a bottle of Saperavi with a presentation inscription, Order of St. George... The authorities have done everything to please Joseph Biden during his stay in Georgia.
The day before the visit, President Saakashvili had shared his expectations with The Washington Post. He hoped that the USA will supply the modest modern weapons to Georgia so that it could resist Russia. However, the president specified that it is the defensive type of weapon that is meant. "I believe the decision to help us has already been taken, - Saakashvili stated. - It is only the matter of enhancing the process".
However, in his interview to BBC, Joseph Biden himself has denied Saakashvili's guesswork. According to him, Washington has been supporting Georgia's territorial integrity after the 2008 war conflict with Russia but it does not mean that the US are offering Georgia any real security guarantees, he added.
Joe Biden arrived in Tbilisi late in the evening; however, contrary to the revealed plans, he went to Tbilisi Marriott Hotel first, which is located not far from the parliament, instead of going to Saakashvili's residence. Meanwhile, crowds of oppositionists were waiting for him near Avlabari, hoping to show their eagerness for changes in the country. The authorities did not let them to the Rustaveli avenue, where they had spent four months in the ward-cages. The ward-cages had been cleared away as well.
The dinner at the residence took place later. During the dinner, Joe Biden announced that it was President Barack Obama who asked him to visit Georgia (which is frightened at the "reload" between Moscow and Washington), and that Biden has brought "a clear message that the US are going to continue backing Georgia". This relates to developing the democracy and ensuring Georgia's energy security. The promise implies students exchange and businessmen's meetings. "If we can provide any possible help, it will be significant support, the American people's support in your struggle for peace", - the US Vice President stated.
Not a single word was said about armament, although Biden referred to Georgia and the US having common interests in the military sphere: today, the Georgian soldiers are standing side by side with the American soldiers in Afghanistan. The guest concluded his speech by showing politesse: he suggested a toast for Georgia and welcomed its seeking democracy, freedom and independence.
On his part, Mikhail Saakashvili thanked America for "the longstanding support of the Georgian people and the country's territorial integrity". While saying this, he could not help having a dig at Russia: he alluded to the Russian troops located 40 kilometers away from Tbilisi, with their canons pointed at the ancient capital. Saakashvili's personal gratitude for Biden's support provided last August has turned into an Order of St. George that was personally given to Biden by Saakashvili during the official dinner.