Four opposition leaders, who met with visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, said that democratic reforms, as well as the country’s security issues were discussed.
Nino Burjanadze, ex-parliamentary speaker and leader of Democratic Movement–United Georgia (DMUG); Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of New Rights Party (part of Alliance for Georgia); Giorgi Targamadze, leader of the parliamentary minority and of Christian-Democratic Movement and Levan Gachechiladze, co-founder of public movement Defend Georgia, participated in the meeting.
“The news that we heard today is that although the United States cut expanses, it plans to increase assistance to Georgia to strengthen democratic institutions,” Giorgi Targamadze, CDM leader said after the meeting. “I have requested the Deputy Secretary of State to keep close coordination with the Georgian authorities, including in respect of situation management, so that to make [the Georgian authorities] more restraint and attentive in order to react adequately to the provocations staged by our northern neighbor.”
“It was very important to hear the statement that it’s important for the U.S. administration to see the real democratic steps, which the authorities should undertake and not just attempts to create an image of being a friend of the United States. I stressed during the meeting that there is no progress in democratic reforms and that the Georgian people are waiting for the results of those efforts and pressure on [the Georgian authorities], which really take place behind the scenes,” Nino Burjanadze, leader of DMUG, said.
“Despite frequent meetings and huge friendship no concrete result has been brought either in respect of security, or in respect of protection of human rights,” Levan Gachechiladze said after the meeting.
“We have received serious promises that democracy would be a priority of President Obama’s administration in respect of Georgia… The fact that the delegation, during its brief visit, meets with the opposition, before meeting with the President, highlights that for the United States Georgia and its people are priorities and not any particular political leader,” Davit Gamkrelidze, the New Rights Party leader, said.