In brief, News, World

Georgia does not consider role in US-Iran conflict

by | February 6, 2012

TBLISI, DFWatch - The Georgian Speaker of Parliament says that there is no talk of Georgia having a role in a potential conflict between Iran and the USA. Davit Bakradze was commenting a statement made earlier by the deputy secretary of the country's security council, Batu Kutelia,

News, Politics, World

USA: democratic transfer of power is needed

by | October 21, 2011

TBILISI, DFWatch - America will be expecting to see a democratic transition of power in Georgia in the presidential election in 2013, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said during a press briefing here in Tbilisi yesterday. Reactions have varied from the opposition seizing on the use of the phrase "transition of power" as a signal for regime change, to the government saying Burns doesn't mean that the ruling National Movement Party won’t remain in government. The briefing took place while Burns paid a working visit to Georgia and he has held meetings with both government officials and opposition politicians as well as representatives of the media. The meetings are said to have centered around the country’s internal and foreign policy and made it clear that the US remains a partner of Georgia. US will do its best to protect democratic institutions via the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission and other existing contacts, William Burns said. “We will do all we can to support Georgia’s emerging democratic institutions for development of a vibrant civil society, of free and independent media, of the rule of law based ...

News, World

French President greeted by astroturf crowd

by | October 7, 2011

President Nicolas Sarkozy finally arrived in Tbilisi Friday from Baku. It was the final stop on his tour of the South Caucasus. Security was tight around Freedom Square. People who wanted to attend the event had to arrive two hours earlier. The square had been decorated with French, Georgian and EU flags for the occasion. In the afternoon, Sarkozy made an outdoor speech just after President Saakashvili had addressed people who were gathered inside the cordoned-off area. The crowd had been growing since noon and counted a few thousand. Some came in a coloumn of yellow buses driving down Rustaveli Avenue. The buses were bringing people from faraway regions of Georgia, as well as various districts of the capital. Maestro TV reported that the crowds were bussed in from as far away as Poti, a city on the Black Sea coast. They had all expenses paid, and the operation seemed well planned. TV footage showed organizers hushing them onto the buses, working by name lists. "Look what they've made us do. I was not meant to be here now, today. I work in metro station ...

News, World

Sarkozy to Georgia: more reforms needed

by | October 7, 2011

French president Nicolas Sarkozy told Georgians Friday that the country must strengthen democracy through further reforms if it wants to move closer to EU membership. A few thousand people were in or around Freedom Square in the center of Tbilisi while Sarkozy held his speech this afternoon but many seemed uninterested and left before he even took the stage. "Continuing to develop a strategy for developing reforms is your best tool for convincing the EU that Georgia is a European country," the French leader said. "Internal reform and a strategy of openness is the best chance to convince the populations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia that their future is as a companion at Georgia's side, in an open country, not as isolated and enslaved pseudo-states," he said. In the speech, Sarkozy reaffirmed France's support for Georgia's territorial integrity and right to seek membership in Nato. His call on Georgia and Russia to reconcile was met with silence from the crowd. Sarkozy is struggling in the polls ahead of France's presidential election next spring. His Caucasus tour is seen as an attempt to cash in on past ...

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