07TBILISI1064, ZOURABICHVILI WORKING TO FORGE COMMON OPPOSITION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1064 2007-05-08 13:29 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXYZ0022
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSI #1064 1281329
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 081329Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6273

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 001064 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/09/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV GG
SUBJECT: ZOURABICHVILI WORKING TO FORGE COMMON OPPOSITION 
PLATFORM FOR 2008 ELECTIONS 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft, for reasons 
1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C)  On May 7, Ambassador met with Salome Zourabichvili, 
former Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs and current 
leader of the opposition party "Georgia's Way." 
Zourabichvili told the Ambassador that she was currently 
holding meetings with the leaders from all the opposition 
parties in Georgia in an attempt to forge a common set of 
policies in advance of the 2008 elections.  She said she also 
envisioned the creation of an arbitration commission, 
comprised of international organizations and NGOs, that could 
actively present issues to the public in the year leading up 
to the elections and be aggressive in intervening with the 
GoG to ensure that the next elections are as free as 
possible.  A common platform and arbitration commission would 
be the first step for the opposition, she said, followed by 
the selection of a common presidential candidate (Note: In an 
aside she hinted that she thought she would be the opposition 
candidate.  End note).  Ambassador said that a group of 
western Ambassadors and the OSCE has already met with Speaker 
of the Parliament Nino Burjanadze to emphasize that the 
Central Election Committee needs to start working on the 
voters' lists and preparing for the 2008 elections now. 
 
2.  (C)  Zourabichvili also told the Ambassador that she was 
concerned about the way the GoG is handling the situation in 
the conflict zones.  She said she was particularly concerned 
about recent GoG rhetoric towards Abkhazia and the 
establishment of a youth "patriot camp" in the village of 
Mukhuri, a Georgian-controlled village on the opposite bank 
of the Enguri river.  Most of that side of the Enguri is 
Abkhaz-controlled, and the camp will be very close to Abkhaz 
areas.  She said that she recently tried to visit the camp, 
but was warned away by Georgian soldiers, who said it was too 
dangerous because Abkhaz criminal gangs frequently cross over 
into the village.  She said the GoG was "playing games" with 
Georgian youth by establishing this camp so close to the 
Abkhaz border. 
 
TEFFT

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