(www.civil.ge) вЂ" Key opposition lawmakers said that their meeting with President Saakashvili was positive and constructive, and a willingness has been expressed by both sides to continue the dialogue on a regular basis in the future.
The opposition was represented at the meeting by MP Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights Party; MP Zurab Tkemaladze, leader of the Industrialist Party; and MP Davit Berdzenishvili of the Republican Party, who was representing the Democratic Front parliamentary faction, which includes lawmakers from the Conservative and Republican parties.
Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze and leader of the parliamentary majority MP Maia Nadiradze were representing the ruling National Movement Party.
Government officials including Giorgi Arveladze, the Economy Minister; Davit Kezerashvili, the Defense Minister; Gela Bezhuashvili, the Foreign Minister and Merab Antadze, the State Minister for Conflict Resolution Issues, were also present at the meeting, reports Trend.
After the talks MP Davit Gamkrelidze, often a fierce critic of Mikheil Saakashvili, said that the President was quite constructive.
He spent a lot of time on this meeting and he told us that he is very interested in meetings of this kind, MP Gamkrelidze said in an interview with Tbilisi-based Imedi television.
Issues related with secessionist conflicts, Georgia's NATO integration, relations with Russia, and some issues of internal politics were discussed during the meeting, officials said.
MP Gamkrelidze and MP Davit Berdzenishvili said that some confidential issues were also discussed at the meeting.
MP Gamkrelidze said that the Defense Minister briefed participants of the meeting about Georgia's Intensified Dialogue talks with NATO.
Saakashvili spoke in details about his and his ruling majority's vision for Georgia's near future. I do not want to speak about this; it is up to the President to unveil these plans. I want to say that what I have heard is quite logical, MP Gamkrelidze said.
He said that he also brought up the authorities' alleged abuse of property rights, an accusation that has lately featured prominently in the local media.
The President promised that within two or three weeks he will initiate a draft law which should put an end to illegal confiscations of property. And I hope that the President will keep the promise, MP Gamkrelidze said.
The President voiced his clear position that he shares the opinion that property should be untouchable, and he unveiled a plan to propose a draft law to create additional mechanisms for the protection of property rights. My feeling is that Saakashvili is really concerned about society's reaction to this issue [the abuse of property rights], so he has decided to put an end to this illegal activity, he added.
He also said that the opposition's demand that Georgia withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was also discussed.
There was no clear answer from the authorities on the CIS. They say some technical problems remain involving bilateral agreements with other CIS-member states, MP Gamkrelidze said.
MP Davit Berdzenishvili from the Republican Party said in an interview with Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 television that the opposition refrained from pushing the issues on which they hold radically different positions.
We have been talking about Abkhazia, Georgia's security, foreign policy. We think that much is to be done now, while the government thinks that these things should be done tomorrow, he said.
MP Berdzenishvili also noted that problems related with minority rights were discussed.
We talked about the necessity to create better conditions for the integration of national minorities, including their political integration into different kind of political parties in Georgia, he said.
He also said that the necessity to create a better legislative base to secure political pluralism was also noted during the meeting.
Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze told reporters that the meeting was very open and very frank.
There is a readiness to hold an open dialogue between the President and the oppositionвЂ¦ I think it will be very positive to continue the dialogue in this format, which will help to increase the level of political culture in the country, Nino Burjanadze said.