Weekly digest
30 September, 2010

* Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili took part in a talk show of Al-Jazeera TV.

In answer to the question regarding Medvedev’s statetment that he would start negotiations with a new leader of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili answered: My own vision is that Medvedev is leaving, and Putin is planning to come back. Liberal Medvedev may have such wishes, but it contradicts the plans of ‘bad guy’ Putin.
According to Saakashvili, despite the fact that Russia has occupied 20 %

of territories of Georgia, he is ready for a dialogue without any pre-conditions.

* However, before ‘Mevedev leaves and Putin comes back’, President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree and fired powerful Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.
The decree stated that Luzhkov, 74, was dischared because he had lost ‘the trust of the President of the Russian Federation’.
Lately Luzhkov has been facing harsh criticism on the part of the Kremlin.
Russia’s constitution allows the President to fire Moscow’s mayor and regional governors and appoint successors without elections.

* NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will pay an official visit to Georgia on September 30.
Mr. Rasmussen will meet President Mikheil Saakashvili, Chairman of the Parliament Davit Bakradze, PM Nika Gilauri and Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze.
The Secretary General will also attend the inauguration of NATO cooperation office.
The officials will further discuss the issues that were lately discussed at the sitting of NATO-Georgia Commission.

* Ceremonies dedicated to the memory of soldiers, killed in Abkhazia were held in Tbilisi and Ganmukhuri on September 27.
17 years have passed since the fall of Sokhumi. Events started in Tbilisi and Ganmukhuri at night of September 27 in honor of the memory of perished soldiers.
‘We Have a Single Heart’ was the motto of the event, held at the Square of Heroes.
Vice Prime Minister Gia Baramidze and Dimitri Sanakoev, Head of South Ossetian interim administration, laid a wreath at the memorial to the heroes.
A theatrical performance, ‘Address to the World’, was held on the Peace Bridge in Ganmukhuri. The event was aimed to remind the international community the results of the Russian aggression.

* Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Bernard Kouchner, considers his resignation. As French ‘Le Figaro’ writes, Mr. Kouchner confirmed his presumable resignation in the interview with TV channel RTL.
‘I know that I have to go,’ Kouchner said.
As ‘Le Figaro’ informs, 71-year-old Kouchner noted in private talks that he sent a letter of resignation to President Nicolas Sarkozy in August.

*An appeal signed by 14 opposition parties will be sent to the CoE and Venice Commission, requesting them to block Georgian constitutional amendments.
As chairman of Labor Party Shalva Natelashvili stated at the press conference, ‘their position regarding constitutional changes, is shared by all main opposition powers in Georgia and they believe that this process is aimed to prolong Mikheil Saakashvili’s rule.
Natelashvili states that the only solution is to make special amendments to the constitution, according to which President will not be allowed to take the post of Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament, Chairman of Supreme Court or Constitutional Court after the two terms of presidency.
The appeal sent to the said organizations was joined by ‘Democratic Movement – United Georgia’, Movement of Whites’, ‘Protect Georgia’, ‘Movement for Just Georgia’, ‘Industry will save Georgia’, ‘National Forum’, ‘Conservative Party’, ‘Green Party’, ‘Social-Democratic Movement’, ‘Kartuli Dasi’, ‘Women’s Party’, ‘Our Georgia – Free Democrats’ and ‘People’s Party’.

*‘Georgia, on the rebound, challenges Moscow to take down ‘new Iron Curtain’’ is a title of the article, published by WorldTribune.com.
John Metzler, author of the article, offers analysis of  Georgian President’s speech at the 65th UN assembly.
‘Georgia’s president strongly exhorted Russia to act as a “rational international player and not a revisionist; to become a country that chose cooperation instead of occupation, open markets rather than embargos, tolerance instead of crackdowns,’ the article says.
The author also points out that the Georgian President called on the international community to stay committed and ensure peace not only in Georgia but in the entire unstable Caucasian region. But most importantly, President Mikheil Saakashvili implored, ‘I personally want Russia as a partner and not as an enemy’. This aspiration may remain his biggest challenge, the article said.
The author also highlighted how Georgia managed to recover after the war of 2008.