Sokhumi wants to have “more pragmatic” interlocutors in Tbilisi, one like leader of opposition coalition Georgian Dream Bidzina Ivanishvili or his ally Irakli Alasania, foreign minister of breakaway Abkhazia, Vyacheslav Chirikba, was quoted in an Italian magazine.
Asked whether he thought there was a possibility for negotiations with Tbilisi, Chirikba said in an interview with the Italian bimonthly magazine Limes, published on June 20: “We are open for a dialogue.”
“I am sure, that in a condition of a different president, other than Saakashvili, Georgia too would have been different and we would have every opportunity to come to an agreement,” Chirikba continued. “We need to have more pragmatic interlocutor like, for example, [leader of Our Georgia-Free Democrats Irakli] Alasania or oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, who has just entered into politics. Ivanishvili is a businessman and, perhaps, pragmatic enough in order to understand what kind of solution would be beneficial for everyone.”
For several months in 2006 Alasania served as Tbilisi’s negotiator for Abkhaz issues in a capacity of President Saakashvili’s aide; at the time, his appointment was hailed by Sokhumi. Alasania served on the post before June 2006, when he was appointed as Georgia’s UN ambassador. Alasania’s Our Georgia-Free Democrats party is now within Ivanishvili-led opposition coalition.
Commenting on Chirikba’s remarks, Georgian Dream spokesperson, Maia Panjikidze, said at a news conference on June 25, that after coming into power Ivanishvili-led coalition would spare no efforts “to restore broken bridges” with Abkhazians. “The goal of any negotiations will be restoring Georgia’s territorial integrity and liberating of occupied territories from occupying power,” she said.