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Saakashvili intends to urgently visit Brussels – diplomatic sources

November 12, 2012, 13:34 UTC+3
Visit will take place in parallel with the first trip to the EU and NATO headquarters by key opponent of Saakashvili, Georgian Prime Minister Ivanishvili
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BRUSSELS, November 12 (Itar-Tass) — Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili intends to make an urgent visit to Brussels on Tuesday, November 13, diplomatic sources told Itar-Tass on Monday.

It is noteworthy that the visit will take place in parallel with the first trip to the EU and NATO headquarters by key opponent of Saakashvili, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the sources said.

At present, the Georgian president’s office makes attempts to coordinate this unplanned visit with the EU institutions and the NATO headquarters. It is not easy because in accordance with the protocol the president should be received before the prime minister. This creates obstacles for the EU and NATO structures to coordinate hot agenda items.

The sources said NATO expected the Georgian president to visit Brussels on November 13-14. But the parties continue coordinating technical issues, they said, adding that the visit had not been declared yet.

Local observers believe that Saakashvili tries to distract mass media’s attention from the first foreign visit to Brussels by his key opponent.

Ivanishvili has arrived in Brussels. On Monday, the prime minister intends to meet the EU President and the European Commission chairman. On Wednesday, November 14, the Georgian prime minister will visit the NATO headquarters.

Ivanishvili took a decision to make his first foreign visit Brussels in order to convince EU and NATO officials that Georgia would continue his policy towards bringing closer with these organisations. Particularly, Georgia seeks to preserve their presence in Afghanistan within the NATO operation that should be over till the end of 2014.

At the same time, local analysts note that the choice of Brussels is the easier decision by taking into account Georgian-Russian relations. They also note that Ivanishvili seeks to create prerequisites for gradually and carefully resuming the dialogue with Moscow in order to finally normalise relations between both countries.

 

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