(civil) - President Saakashvili said that with the nearest elections about two years away, an exchange of opinions and a dialogue with the opposition, even with minor groups, is important and a very positive factor for us.
Saakashvili was speaking in a televised address after signing constitutional amendments rescheduling parliamentary and presidential elections for late 2008.
He said that he is ready to set up a broader National Security Council where lawmakers from the opposition parliamentary factions will be invited to discuss the country's development, reports Trend.
All the opposition factions that want to and are able to hold a dialogue will be invited to take part in the discussion of vital current issues concerning the country's security, Saakashvili said.
I am ready to meet these people and representatives of different civil society groups regularly in order to have a common position on major issues, including Georgia's foreign policy priorities, Georgia's territorial integrity, further democratic reforms, interaction with the peopleвЂ¦ as it is in all real and successful democracies, Saakashvili said.
He said that this process will be of special importance as the coming years will be very crucial for completing the tasks that are on the country's agenda.
And here we need a consolidation, regular dialogue and interaction, and when possible, a consensus on major issues between all [political] forces, Saakashvili added.
Opposition politicians have recently been voicing their dissatisfaction about the absence of the ruling majority's desire to undertake a dialogue with their opponents and with groups that hold dissenting opinions. In recent months, politicians from the ruling majority have even been avoiding debates with their opponents on TV talks shows.
We are ready for a dialogue, but it should be a real dialogue and not an imitation of a dialogue, MP Davit Berdzenishvili of the opposition Republican Party said in response to Saakashvili's initiative.
MP Zurab Tkemaladze of the opposition Industrialist Party hailed the initiative and said that his party is ready to participate in the work of the new format of the National Security Council.