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Deputy FM Testifies Before War Commission
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Nov.'08 / 08:20

Giga Bokeria, the Georgian deputy foreign minister and an influential figure within the President Saakashvili's administration, testified before the parliamentary commission studying the August war on November 25.
 
The commission decided to summon Bokeria during the testimony delivered by former Georgian ambassador to Russia, Erosi Kitsmarishvili, earlier on the same day. Formally, the commission intended to summon Foreign Minister, Eka Tkeshelashvili, however, the Minister is now visiting London and eventually her deputy was summoned.
 
Bokeria's testimony was a rebuttal of the statements made by Kitsmarishvili earlier before the commission.

He said that Kitsmarishvili’s allegations as if the Georgian authorities wanted and planned to resolve conflicts through use of force were “absurd and a lie.”
 
Bokeria said that that Kitsmarishvili’s appointment on the post of ambassador in Russia was “a serious mistake.”

“We had no contacts with him after he had been recalled from Moscow [on July 10 following Russia’s admission that its jet violated the Georgia’s airspace],” Bokeria told the commission members. “He did not even appear during those hard days [referring to the August war] and I even forgot about his existence.”

Formally Kitsmarishvili was dismissed from the ambassador’s position on September 12.

Like the commission members from the ruling party, Giga Bokeria, has also slammed Kitsmarishvili for the remarks made after he had been recalled from Moscow on July 10. Kitsmarishvili said that he was sorry that he had failed for convincing Russia is sincerity of Georgia’s peaceful intentions.

“After he made these remarks I summoned him and reprimanded for making such comments; those remarks were damaging for our national interests,” Bokeria said.

“During that meeting I have seen degraded and demoralized person [referring to Kitsmarishvili], who was regretting about the fact that he was recalled from Moscow. I had an impression that his recalling from Moscow was perceived by him as a collapse of his career and his personal failure,” Bokeria said.

Bokeria has also strongly dismissed Kitsmarishvili’s allegations that the Georgian leadership neglected possibilities for reaching out the Russian authorities for normalizing ties with Moscow. In this context, Kitsmarishvili said that a planned visit by chief of the Russian president’s administration, Sergey Naryshkin, was thwarted because of the President Saakashvili’s and his inner circle’s negligent approach towards the matter.

Although Bokeria confirmed that the Georgian Foreign Ministry was informed about this possible visit, he said “this information about Naryshkin willing to visit Georgia was not eventually confirmed.”

He also said that Georgia was always ready for dialogue with Moscow, but the problem was about Russia’s “unclear messages.” As an example he said that time after time Russia was raising an issue of non-deployment of a third country’s military bases on the Georgian soil.

“Georgia was open for the discussion of this issue, but it should be clear what we will receive and what guarantees we will receive in exchange?” Bokeria said. “But the serious conversation on the matter has not taken place, because we have not heard any response from Russia, they were only telling us: you behave properly at first and then we will see.”

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