President Saakashvili (left) and Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili (right) make statements after their meeting in the presidential palace; their top aides and allies seen on the background, October 8. Photo: Guram Muradov/Civil.ge
President Saakashvili and Georgian Dream leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is set to become PM, met on October 9 in the presidential palace.
The meeting lasted for about 35 minutes after which Ivanishvili and Saakashvili made statements.
President Saakashvili and Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili shaking hands before the meeting in the presidential palace, October 9. Photo: Guram Muradov/Civil.ge
Ivanishvili was the first to make the statement, followed by Saakashvili; below is the text of the both statements.
Bidzina Ivanishvili said:
“Our today’s meeting represented a continuation of that healthy policy, which my team and I have brought into Georgian political space.
The fact that my team and I managed and created a precedent in Georgia to change the authorities democratically will always be mentioned in a dignified manner in Georgia’s history.
The fact that all year through we managed to react in a dignified manner to all undignified actions of our opponents is the reason of this meeting.
We have been declaring and we declare it now that we will treat our opponents not in a way they deserve it, but in a way our country, Georgian people, Georgian population, our culture deserve it. Just it was the reason of our meeting today.
We have discussed foreign policy, our views and so on. We have concurring [opinions] about foreign policy issues that have been declared by the both sides – that is Europe and Euro-Atlantic space, which represent our strategy and there will be a continuation of this strategy of the outgoing authorities. We will have an unwavering aspiration towards Europe and Georgia will definitely manage to become a NATO member state in the near future. Approximately that sort of conversation we had.
It is good that we managed to meet; it is good that Saakashvili managed to make a statement in the process of elections and by the end of elections, which I praised.
The goal of our today’s meeting is to demonstrate that we are a cultural nation, we are beginning a new life and we will always treat our opponents in a dignified manner. Thank you very much.”
Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili arrived in the presidential palace, accompanied by some of his allies, where President Saakashvili welcomed them accompanied by his senior aides and allies. From left to right: outgoing chairman of parliamentary committee for legal affairs Pavle Kublashvili shaking hands with Ivanishvili; Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava shaking hands with Irakli Alasania, nominee for Defense Minister’s post; Giga Bokeria, Secretary of National Security Council shaking hands with Davit Usupashvili, incoming parliamentary chairman; outgoing parliamentary chairman Davit Bakradze shaking hands with Irakli Garibashvili, incoming interior minister and President Saakashvili shaking hands with Sozar Subari, incoming minister for prison system. Photo: Guram Muradov/Civil.ge
President Saakashvili said:
“I want to tell you that today is the historic process. Peaceful handover of most of the executive government’s powers in the framework of democracy is ongoing for the first time in this region, in this part of post-Soviet space.
The Georgian people have made their choice. We have always been saying and we will say it in the future too that we respect the choice of the Georgian people. The Georgian people are supreme actors in the country, which define political processes.
We have talked and it is not a surprise for anyone that fundamental differences remain between us over many political issues, over many national issues.
But we, as responsible authorities, and I, as the President, who is a guarantor of the constitution, will provide handover of governmental functions to take place without any incidents, to take place like it has never happened in Georgia’s history, to take place through taking into consideration fully the interests of the Georgian people, to take place through maintaining political processes within the democratic framework.
We should preserve democracy; we should achieve holding of free elections in the future too, to further strengthen democracy, to make it possible for democracy to further develop and to create better opportunities for the Georgian people.
As the President, I and we all will take care to make the Georgian people’s interests protected – that’s what I was always guided by and that will remain my driving force in months and years to come and in my and my [allies’] future activities.
I think that what has happened will be assessed by the Georgian people, by everyone in their own way; everything requires time in order to see and analyze many things, but right now we all should be focused on future and we all should be focused on wellbeing of our people.
Regardless of fundamental differences on actually most of the issues, we have managed and we will manage to carry this process in proper constitutional and legal framework.
I think that’s the most important issue which we all have to stress today.
So I want to wish success to our people. I am sure that Georgia will have the great future and we also plan to be part of this future as citizens and politicians of this country.”