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Another diplomatic dropout in Saakashvili’s team2009-02-06 13:36
On February 4 Georgia's Ambassador to the OSCE Victor Dolidze filed resignation. Saakashvili's team keeps getting thinner while young intellectuals with a solid professional background keep joining the opposition.
Like his friend and teammate, Georgia's ex Ambassador to the UN Irakli Alasania, Dolidze promised to reveal the reasons that had prompted his decision early next week on his coming back to Tbilisi. On the resignation day as Interfax reports he gave a hint of his intention to continue his work on the political arena.
Dolidze's dropout from civil service is quite an expected event. Since early January Georgian media have been writing that Dolidze will abandon diplomatic service and join Saakashvili's main rival - Alasania. It was the question of days, not even months.
Meanwhile Georgia's Foreign Ministry was unpleasantly surprised at Dolidze's resignation. According to Georgian information agencies Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze does not conceal his regret: "I was trying to dissuade Victor Dolidze from resigning but all was in vain. He asked to solicit the issue before the president. We worked well together but any person has the right to determine his own fate", - day.az is quoting.
The Foreign Minister's revelation was consciously or not against Saakashvili. Indeed, just a short time ago during his live TV intercourse with the public on January 23 he stated: "My ex teammates did not leave their posts voluntarily. None of my ex associates did it voluntarily. They all were dismissed". At that time only one oppositionist reacted to the president's sheer lies live on TV - it was ex Speaker of the Parliament, now the leader of "Democratic Movement-United Georgia" Nino Burdzhanadze. "President forgets the Constitution and does not remember that though he is the head of the state he has no right to dismiss the Chairman of the Parliament", - she retorted.
Other "exes" did not consider it appropriate to attract the public attention to the most flagrant lies of the head of the state (as they apparently think). All of them including ex Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli, ex Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili, ex Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, ex Ambassador to the UN Irakli Alasania, just grew more persistent in demanding Saakashvili's resignation.
Dolidze's withdrawal was another blow weakening the position of the authorities. Following the Foreign Minister's comment above the president can no more assert that Dolidze too has been dismissed.
It is especially displeasing for the authorities that the OSCE-mission-in-the-region issue was another tug-of-war between Moscow and Tbilisi. It will be remembered that Russia demanded the monitors' withdrawal from South Ossetia as the OSCE former mandate is out of date and does not correspond to the new realia. That is why Moscow insists on establishing two independent missions - one in Tbilisi and the other in Tskhinval. Tbilisi's objection is supported by the European Union. And what about the defiant resignation of Victor Dolidze from the post of Georgia's Ambassador to the OSCE then? Firstly his resignation weakens the positions of the country in the situation connected with the OSCE mission. Secondly it is another message to the world community that something is rotten in the state of Sakartvelo (this is the country's name in Georgian). Before that the president's reputation was greatly hurt by Georgia's Ambassador to the UN Irakli Alasania's voluntary resignation and his transition to the opposition. Ramaz Sakvarelidze, a Georgian politologist, believes that Dolidze's decision shows crisis in the foreign policy of the leaders which "now is frequently discussed even in the Western media".