Bush Street in Tbilisi to turn into Obama Street very soon23.06.2009 | 10:38
In the run-up to Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze's visit to the USA the Georgian authorities are reporting on progress in partnership and USD 20 mln donated by Washington. In the meantime the Georgian opposition is criticizing Americans for their intervention in Sakartvelo's internal affairs urging to get rid of shameful "Bush Street". Well, the government will honor their request by renaming it into Obama Street.
This week on June 23 Grigol Vashadze plans to meet Hilary Clinton. This is not a true gentleman's desire to take the lady by her recently injured elbow. Together with the Secretary of State he will hold the first session of Georgia-USA Strategic Partnership Council. The negotiations in Washington "will become the first practical stage of Georgia-USA strategic partnership implementation", Georgian ambassador to the United States Batu Kutelia hopes.
This meeting will "help to pass over to implementation of provisions of the Charter on strategic partnership between the two countries". The ambassador notes the US Congress has recently adopted a legal act stipulating the executive authority's obligation to periodically report on implementation of the partnership agreement with promises of cooperation on defense and security, development of democratic institutions, trade, economics and culture - so pleasing to Georgia.
Last Friday Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria and US Ambassador John Tefft already discussed strategic partnership issues between two countries not waiting for the Washington rendezvous. "The USA have been our reliable partner for many years. This is the country that played a significant part in destruction of the Evil Empire (the USSR - ed.), it has always helped us in creation of a free democratic state as it was with the Baltic states", - this is Bokeria's comment on the meeting with the envoy from the most "democratic" country of the world. He thanked Americans for the support they offered Georgia.
After that Tefft and First Deputy Interior Minister of Georgia Ekaterina Zguadze signed the 10th amendment to the agreement "On reinforcement of legality". The document stipulates the USA's obligation to pay 20 million dollars to the Georgian police. According to the agreement "the amount will be used for information technologies and communications upgrade, improvement of professional capabilities" etc. Perfect timing for help considering what the law enforcement authorities have been doing over the last two and a half months in Tbilisi. The agreement signed these days when the opposition plans to contest the behavior of Interior Ministry officers on June 15 looks like material encouragement of policemen's violence against the journalists and hammering people's heads during the rally near the Interior Ministry's main department.
However the guess that the police have thrown off reserve and let themselves go with the highest assent of the American patrons protecting Mikheil Saakashvili's government was expressed by the Georgian opposition before the 20-mln dollar cheque was written out.
Tefft's mission was severely criticized by Georgy Khaindrava, an opposition leader. "People like Tefft and other American politicians actively supporting Saakashvili's regime in Georgia do a lot of harm to the United States. The events in front of the Interior Ministry's main department when the police brutally dispersed the protesters were the result of Tefft's "green light" to the authorities". - he stated at the rally in front of the parliament.
Following the events near the Interior Ministry's main department the laborists asked that the Tbilisian street leading to the airport named after George Bush be renamed back to Melanskaya street. According to Iosif Shatberashvili, Labor Party Secretary General, it is US ex-president's fault that Georgia lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It is not a secret that the USA were the first to allow the collapse of a European state - Serbia. "If the name of Bush street is preserved we will hold protest actions", - Shatberashvili threatened.
What America needs is just a transit corridor for implementing its plans in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, and not an integral democratic Georgia, Archil Chkoidze, chairman of Irakli II society asserts in Geopolitics magazine. "The West has already shown its sharp teeth in the form of Georgian riot policemen it has brought up that had no mercy on their compatriots on November 7 2007 and that keep being aggressive towards peaceful protesters using their more sophisticated methods", - the politician states with resentment. "These guys were trained to protect the Georgian puppet government kowtowing to the USA and not Georgia's sovereignty", - he continues. Chkoidze can't understand how the opposition continues to blindly worship the West and "seek justice only in the embassies of the European countries and the USA". It seems the oppositionists that don't blame the USA are as dependent on this country as Mikheil Saakashvili they criticize.