TBILISI: NSC Discusses Border Reopening with Russia

Civil Georgia, Georgia
Nov 14 2009

NSC Discusses Border Reopening with Russia

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Nov.’09 / 12:35

President Saakashvili, government members and representatives from
some opposition parties discussed possible reopening of Zemo
Larsi-Kazbegi border crossing point with Russia at an extended session
of National Security Council (NSC) on November 13.

`We had talks in Yerevan ` Georgian-Armenian talks with participation
of Russians on reopening of this border crossing point,’ Saakashvili
said in his televised opening remarks at the session. `Some fears have
been expressed [by some lawmakers from the parliamentary minority]
about possible reopening; we will brief you about the information
available to us and you then make your conclusions.’

After the meeting Secretary of National Security Council, Eka
Tkeshelashvili, said that if talks on reopening `further progress and
the border crossing is reopened it will only be positive for us and
our neighbor [Armenia] and would in no way pose security threat to our

In his opening remarks President Saakashvili welcomed the opposition
politicians participation in the NSC meeting and said it was an
example of cooperation between the authorities and the opposition,
including those `who were throwing carrots at me’ several months ago `
a reference to street protest rallies when a group of opposition
parties were picketing the presidential palace and when at least once
some opposition activists throw carrots and cabbages over the gates of
the presidential palace.

`Now, I think, we are moving from the carrots politics to serious
politics,’ Saakashvili told the session, which was also attended by MP
Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, whose Freedom Party was among the group of
opposition parties behind the street protest rallies.

Only leaders of Traditionalist and Industrialists parties, Akaki
Asatiani and Zurab Tkemaladze, respectively, were attending the
session from non-parliamentary opposition.