Georgian president, Bidzina Ivanishvili announce matching foreign policy priorities (UPDATE)
(The first version was posted at 14:17)
Georgia, Tbilisi, Oct.9/ Trend, N.Kirtskhalia /
The first direct meeting between President Mikheil Saakashvili and the leader of Georgian Dream coalition, which won the parliamentary elections, Bidzina Ivanishvili, ended at the presidential palace in Tbilisi. It lasted about half an hour.
First Ivanishvili spoke to reporters talking about the unique role of its political power in strengthening democracy in the country.
"Today's meeting is a continuation of the sound policy that I and my team have brought to Georgian policy. The fact that we could set a precedent for the democratic change of power in Georgia's history, the fact that we were able to adequately respond to unfair actions of our opponents, will be adequately marked. I encourage everyone to treat our opponents as our country, history and culture deserve," Ivanishvili told reporters.
He stressed that "the parties discussed general foreign policy priorities". "They are basically the same in Georgia's aspiration for the EU and NATO," Ivanishvili said.
"It is good that we could meet and we must prove that we are civilised people and can live in a democratic atmosphere with our opponents," Ivanishvili said.
He welcomed the statements that Saakashvili made immediately after the opposition's victory in elections.
In turn, Georgian president said that "historical process" is underway in Georgia, when the power is democratically transferred to the opposition.
"We transfer a major part of government's functions to the opposition peacefully which a first time in this region. The Georgian people made a choice and we respect it. The Georgian people have defined the political process.
"Today we held a conversation and there are fundamental differences with our opponents, but we as responsible government and I, as President, will ensure the transition of power without excesses which has never happened in the past. We must preserve democracy and ensure that the elections in the future will be democratic and that the Georgian people have prospects for development. As president I and we, will do everything to protect the rights of our fellow citizens," he said.
Saakashvili said the Georgian people will assess what happened. "Time is needed for compiling an analysis. Now it is necessary to concentrate on the future. I am sure that a great future is ahead of us and my political force is going to be part of this future," he said.
Ivanishvili has put forward candidates for ministerial posts in the new Georgian government at the coalition's headquarters in Tbilisi on Monday.
He will take the post of prime minister.