No announcement yet.

The Young Face of Georgia

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Young Face of Georgia

    Noyan Tapan Highlights #10(512)
    15 March 2004

    The Young Face of Georgia

    By Haroutiun Khachatrian

    The series of impressions we had got of Mikhail Saakashvili, has been
    extended by what we saw during his visit to Armenia. The rather extensive
    dialogue of the two presidents has brought a sizable set of additional
    information about the new Georgian leader. In short, the positive
    expectations we had from fragments seen on TV screens earlier have largely
    been confirmed.

    The most important element was, of course, the attitude of the President of
    Georgia about the regional problems, the unresolved ethnic conflicts being
    the most important ones among them. He displayed a sober and pragmatic
    stance, carefully avoiding any expressions and words, which could increase
    tension and suspicions of whoever concerned. He gave optimistic promises,
    extending as far as the promise to re-open the rail link in Abkhazia in a
    year period (the official report quotes him as saying this during his
    meeting with Artur Baghdasarian, the Chairman of the National Assembly of
    Armenia). Similarly, he pronounced many correct and optimistic words about
    the regional cooperation and the relations between this region and its
    powerful neighbors.

    Of course, much of what Saakashvili declared in Yerevan was said by his
    predecessor as well. What was different between Saakashvili and
    Shevardnadze, was, in my view, that the new 36-year-old president really
    meant what he said. It was evident that this is his style: he spoke very
    openly, often saying things that few other politicians would. And hence he
    looked quite sincere in expressing his goals: settling problems with Russia,
    regulate conflicts, stimulate cooperation in the region.

    Georgia has been, for a number of reasons, the central element of the South
    Caucasus. If its new leader succeeds in implementing his policy, the
    situation in the whole region may improve greatly. Good luck!!!