07TBILISI2614, GEORGIA: REACTION TO 2007 INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2614 2007-10-22 06:39 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5736
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2614 2950639
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220639Z OCT 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7949
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 002614 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC AND DRL 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL KDEM GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: REACTION TO 2007 INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 
REPORT 
 
 
1. (U) Government reaction.  On September 20, 2007, Emboff presented 
a copy of the International Religious Freedom (IRF) report text to 
Irakli Machitidze, the U.S. desk officer in the Georgian Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs, and offered to address any questions or concerns. 
Machitidze noted with satisfaction the report's conclusion that the 
situation for freedom of religion in Georgia has for the most part 
improved, and promised to continue monitoring the issues that the 
report identified as needing further improvement.  Machitidze noted 
that the report addressed issues of ethnic and religious minority 
conditions that had potential to adversely affect US aid to Georgia, 
and said that the conclusions of this year's report should not 
warrant attachment of conditions to assistance or the curtailment of 
any specific assistance programs. 
 
2. (U) Media reaction.  Media reaction to the report's release was 
muted.  Most Georgian media outlets reported the release as a major 
but not a lead item.  A popular TV news interview show featured 
U.S.Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Mark X. Perry in an interview 
concerning the report, and gave him and the report a respectful 
reception. 
 
3. (U) Social reaction.  The report did not lead to any mass 
demonstrations or protests in reaction.  No press releases, 
inquiries, or letters were received by the US Embassy regarding the 
report.  The release of the report coincided with, but was not 
linked to, a brief media controversy over a conservative 
parliamentarian's proposal to assign Orthodox priests to state 
classrooms.  That proposal was not backed by the present Georgian 
government, and did not result in legislation.  The proposal was 
made after this year's report was released. 
 
TEFFT

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