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Saakashvili’s account of Obama meeting challenged

by | Feb 1, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president says the results of his meeting with U.S. president Barack Obama exceeded his expectations.

President Mikheil Saakashvili said the issues he discussed with Obama at the White House Monday represent “a new and higher level of cooperation between the two countries; on the one hand military security and on the other hand in the economic spheres”.

“I want that we all acknowledge that this is unimaginably big thing for Georgian economy. The U.S. has a free trade agreement with its close partners and signing this agreement was very solid ground for a serious leap for each country,” he told journalists after the meeting.

But Georgian political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze disagrees with what Saakashvili says and claims that there is nothing in the released material which gives grounds for such overjoyous statements. He says that the strategic partnership charter signed between Georgia and the U.S. in the wake of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war contained all the things that Saakashvili now touts as something new.

“I think the charter mentioned this and this is a planned step forward. The second question is how Georgia will use it,” Sakvarelidze says.

The opposition focuses on the importance of conducting democratic elections.

Giorgi Tsagareishvili of the Free Democrats says the Saakashvili-Obama meeting was important in that it reiterated the point that unless Georgia is able to conduct democratic elections it can kiss goodbye to both NATO membership and free trade agreement with the U.S.

He says president Obama underlined that there should be a trensfer of government which according to his view means that the deepening the relations between the two countries is dependent exactly on the upcoming elections.

As for the term ‘formal transfer’ Tsagareishvili claims that ‘formal’ means official in any country.

“I have the joy of being in a Party where there are six former ambassadors. I assure you that the word ‘formal’ always meant ‘official’ and it was always perceived this way; and now it is said within the same context,” Tsagareishvili explains, adding that Hillary Clinton will say the same during her visit to Georgia, and the government should get ready to transfer power.

Ramaz Sakvarelidze thinks the Saakashvili-Obama meeting hasn’t fulfilled expectation within Georgian society neither for those who support the government nor those who oppose it. He thinks people’s expectations were too high and without basis in reality.



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