Saakashvili Rules Out Talks with Rebel Warlord
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 Jul.'06 / 20:38

In a flamboyant statement mixed with strong language and swearing, President Saakashvili on July 24 ruled out any talks with Kodori-based defiant warlord Emzar Kvitsiani and vowed to curb activity against the country’s unity and statehood.

“Now we are being told to go and negotiate with them. The only issue I can negotiate with Kvitsiani and his gang – and this will happen only if they surrender [their] arms – is about what kind of cells they will have in prison number five in Tbilisi,” Saakashvili said in a response to some opposition parliamentarians’ calls to show caution and for talks with Kvitsiani.

“Everyone who will betray Georgia, who will try to create problems for the country, will be defeated. I want our citizens to know that the President and his team will ‘make their mothers cry’ [a Georgian swearing expression], I mean those who will infringe on Georgia’s statehood, its unity, and the freedom of the Georgian people. Let everyone remember this,” Saakashvili told reporters.

He said that those involved in Kvitsiani’s paramilitary group Monadire (Hunter) are criminals.

“These are the criminals who, when our people were fleeing Abkhazia in 1993, were robbing and killing our [IDPs]. We have not demolished those people entirely and that is why they have emerged again,” Saakashvili said. Kodori served as escape route for thousands of Georgians IDPs fleeing Sokhumi after Georgian troops retreated from Abkhazia.

Meanwhile, Georgian media sources reported that the Defense Ministry has sent additional forces into western Georgia and security has been heightened in the regions adjacent to Abkhazia, where Kodori gorge is located.

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