President Saakashvili, government members and representatives from some opposition parties discussed possible reopening of Zemo Larsi-Kazbegi border crossing point with Russia at an extended session of National Security Council (NSC) on November 13.
“We had talks in Yerevan – Georgian-Armenian talks with participation of Russians on reopening of this border crossing point,” Saakashvili said in his televised opening remarks at the session. “Some fears have been expressed [by some lawmakers from the parliamentary minority] about possible reopening; we will brief you about the information available to us and you then make your conclusions.”
After the meeting Secretary of National Security Council, Eka Tkeshelashvili, said that if talks on reopening “further progress and the border crossing is reopened it will only be positive for us and our neighbor [Armenia] and would in no way pose security threat to our country.”
In his opening remarks President Saakashvili welcomed the opposition politicians participation in the NSC meeting and said it was an example of cooperation between the authorities and the opposition, including those “who were throwing carrots at me” several months ago – a reference to street protest rallies when a group of opposition parties were picketing the presidential palace and when at least once some opposition activists throw carrots and cabbages over the gates of the presidential palace.
“Now, I think, we are moving from the carrots politics to serious politics,” Saakashvili told the session, which was also attended by MP Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, whose Freedom Party was among the group of opposition parties behind the street protest rallies.
Only leaders of Traditionalist and Industrialists parties, Akaki Asatiani and Zurab Tkemaladze, respectively, were attending the session from non-parliamentary opposition.