07TBILISI2934, TBILISI UPDATE: 11/20/07

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2934 2007-11-20 14:40 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1224
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #2934 3241440
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 201440Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8239
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS TBILISI 002934 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: TBILISI UPDATE: 11/20/07 
 
REF: TBILISI 2882 
 
------------------------------------------- 
Government Postpones Meeting with Opposition 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
1. (U) On November 19 Speaker Nino Burjanadze postponed her 
meeting with opposition leaders, saying the opposition was 
complicating the process by presenting new demands during 
meetings, calling for street actions, and sending different 
representatives to the negotiating table than had been 
agreed.  Burjanadze objects to the inclusion of Giorgi 
Khaindrava, suspected by the Georgian Government of links to 
Russian intelligence operatives, in the negotiations. 
Khaindrava has not participated in any other round of talks 
and has not been supportive of a dialog.  Burjanadze said 
"the meeting was postponed because the opposition has 
violated our agreement on a format of negotiations," accusing 
the opposition of unilaterally changing the format to 
deliberately thwart talks. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
Opposition Plans Rally for November 25 
-------------------------------------- 
 
2. (SBU) The nine-party United National Coalition of 
Opposition (UNC) announced plans for a large-scale 
demonstration in support of free media and Imedi TV November 
25.  The UNC held a joint press conference November 19 to 
announce the planned protests which will start at 1400 local 
time in Rike, the last place protesters convened after being 
forced from the front of parliament on November 7.  The 
protesters were subsequently disbanded by police in Rike. 
Some opposition members want the demonstrators to march to 
Freedom Square and end in front of the parliament building. 
Party of the People leader Koba Davitashvili called on all 
Georgian citizens to "gather at Rike to show the authorities 
that we have not given up our struggle."  On November 20 
Republican leader Davit Usupashvili told the Ambassador the 
rally is just a celebration of President Saakashvili's 
resignation and support for the reopening of Imedi 
television, and is not intended to be a permanent 
demonstration.  Usupashvili said the protesters will disband 
at the end of the rally and no final decision was made yet on 
whether to walk to the parliament. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
PM Lays Out Plans, Saakashvili Appeals to the Masses 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
3. (U) In a November 19 televised meeting with President 
Saakashvili, PM Lado Gurgenidze laid out his plans to create 
jobs, promote economic growth, and improve social programs. 
Gurgenidze announced the minimum pension for 890,000 
pensioners will increase from 38 to 55 GEL monthly on 
December 1, and will rise to 76 GEL in 2008.  Teacher 
salaries will also increase by 40 GEL.  In the meeting 
Gurgenidze stressed the importance of Georgia staying the 
economic course. 
 
4. (U) In Saakashvili's latest public addresses, his tone has 
been more conciliatory, calling for dialogue and reaching out 
to the older populations, the poor and academics.  In his 
talk with Gurgenidze, he said a "permanent dialogue" with 
society is needed to explain the country's economic success 
in an "understandable language" for each citizen.  He said he 
would carry out a dialogue with everyone so the majority of 
the population "understands ongoing processes very well."  In 
a separate speech at the National Museum of Georgia, 
Saakashvili promised to triple funds allocated to the 
"important task of developing and preserving Georgia's 
cultural heritage" to 18 million GEL. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
Natelashvili Announces His Candidacy in Press Conference 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
 
5. (U) On November 19, in his first press conference since 
the November 7 protest, Labor Party leader Shalva 
Natelashvili, who left the UNC when its members nominated 
Levan Gachechiladze as its presidential candidate, announced 
his intention to run for president.  During his speech, 
Natelashvili still courted UNC members, inviting them to 
"join a coalition government of national unity." 
 
 
TEFFT

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