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McCain became a “national hero” in Georgia2010-01-11 18:30
The short-term visit of the American Senate delegation led by Senator John McCain became the main piece of today's news in Georgia. It is notable that the visit started in Batumi and will end in Zugdidi. Thus, the Georgian capital will never see the long-awaited American guest.
Nevertheless, the schedule of McCain, a Republican, who has arrived in Batumi late in the evening yesterday, is rather tight: it comprises the meetings with both the representatives of the Georgian opposition and the Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. Besides, he is going to visit Zugdidi, where he will meet the EU observers and Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission Hansjцrg Haber. Here, McCain and the accompanying Senators John Barrasso and John Toon will meet with the refugees who had to leave their home after the Russian-Georgian conflict.
It is true that early in the morning, American senators in Batumi met with the leaders of the Georgian opposition in Intourist Hotel. According to the Georgian TV companies, the opposition was presented by leader of the Christian-Democratic Movement Georgi Targamadze, Head of the Republican party David Usupashvili and one of the leaders of movement Defend Georgia Levan Gachechiladze.
As was commented by the oppositionists after the meeting, they mostly discussed the issues of national security, the current problems of the country and the prospects of further development and democracy strengthening. And what have the Georgian oppositionists been expecting of the American senator's blitz-visit?
They could hardly have gained the support of the senate Republicans in their protest campaign against Saakashvili's anti-national policy. It is notable that before the meeting with McCain, leader of the Republican party and co-chairman of Alliance for Georgia David Usupashvili stated carefully that "this will be a free informal meeting and its point have not yet been discussed".
"Senator McCain has the deep knowledge of geopolitical problems in Georgia and has got a positive attitude towards our country. However, he has reconsidered a lot of aspects of the domestic policy and democratic institutes in Georgia since his last visit", - the leader of the Georgian Republicans developed his idea.