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A visitor from Washington at the Georgian crossroad2009-06-15 16:30
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon paid a two-day visit to Georgia. Both the authorities of the country and the opposition had hoped he would be the arbiter in the current situation. Gordon's meeting schedule included almost the whole of today's Georgia beau-monde: from the parliamentarian majority to the radical opposition. The three non-compromising leaders were even invited to Washington. Did the current USA envoy's mission turned out to be a success? GeorgiaTimes put these questions to the Georgian political expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze.
As to the domestic situation in Georgia, Gordon's visit did not mean any break-through. The authorities and the opposition interpret the words of the high-ranking visitor in a different way. Speaker of Parliament David Bakradze said that the USA's open and clear support of Georgia is obvious.
According to Bakradze, Philip Gordon believes there is the necessity of active work aimed at resuming the OSCE mission in South Ossetia. The parties discussed the question of prolonging the OSCE and UN observers' mission in Georgia. However, Bakradze admitted that there are certain "red lines common with the USA" which are not to be transcended despite Georgia's desire to see the OSCE and UN observers within its territory. During the conversation with the American guest, "the Georgian-Russian relationship and the problems of safety were also touched upon".
On behalf of the parliamentary majority, Vice Speaker Georgi Tsereteli paid special attention to the fact that the United States have confirmed their support of Georgia's foreign policy. According to Tsereteli, during the meeting with Gordon, the current domestic problems of the country were also touched upon. "Philip Gordon has underlined once again that any political issues should be settled by way of a dialogue, and the governmental policy is absolutely acceptable in this aspect", - GHT is quoting the vice speaker.
The parliamentary opposition interpreted Gordon's words differently. For instance, leader of the Georgian Christian-democratic Movement and the parliamentary minority Georgi Targamadze stated that the time when the USA used to support "the persons" is over. "He (Gordon) outlined his position by saying that the time of supporting the persons is over. Now it is time for them (the USA) to actively support the development and enhancement of democratic institutions, - Civil.Ge is quoting Targamadze. - This is very important". In his opinion, the basic issue of the discussion included the political processes, such as constitutional amendments, electoral reform, independency of court and the media; however, "we also touched upon the economical issues".