Georgian opposition demonstration

In this video, ‘people have gathered in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi for a mass opposition rally against President Mikhail Saakashvili.’

From Trend News in Azerbaijan:

26.05.09 17:38

Georgia, Tbilisi, May 26 /N. Kirtskhalia/

The radical opposition had completed their rally at the Central Stadium “Dinamo” named after Boris Paichadze in Tbilisi. According to organizers, there were gathered at the stadium 60,000 people and then go to the Parliament of Georgia.

The procession will be held on the central streets of Tbilisi.

The rally was scheduled for 12.00-16.00. However, the demonstration began with a half late.

Opposition leaders stated that they would continue their “peaceful rally demanding Saakashvili‘s resignation and necessarily compel the president to resign.”

Saakashvili brought the country to a standstill, brought it before the crisis, and the only way out of this situation is president’s resignation and early elections” they said.

3 thoughts on “Georgian opposition demonstration

  1. Call for aggressive anti-leader action

    Georgia: An opposition leader is calling for new, more aggressive protests to force President Mikhail Saakashvili to resign.

    Levan Gachechiladze made the statement after a meeting with Mr Saakashvili that ended on Wednesday morning when he concluded that Mr Saakashvili wasn’t interested in any compromise with the opposition.

    He also said that demonstrators should step up their protests to force Mr Saakashvili out


  2. Georgia trains with US sailors

    Georgia: US navy sailors and Georgian coast guard crews held training drills aboard a US warship visiting the former Soviet republic on Wednesday.

    Sailors clutching mock sub-machine guns swarmed up ladders on the guided missile destroyer USS Stout and pretended to fire at each other in an exercise simulating the boarding of a hostile ship.

    The Stout is the sixth US warship to call at Georgia’s ports since Tbilisi suffered a crushing defeat in a five-day war with Russia last August.


  3. Aug 21, 3:23 PM EDT

    Georgian official backs off troop training comment

    Associated Press Writer

    TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Georgia’s defense minister asserted Friday that U.S. training for his Afghanistan-bound troops could also be put to use in any new flare-up with Russia, then retracted the statement amid American handwringing.

    Georgian Defense Minister Vasil Sikharulidze told The Associated Press in an interview that the training his troops would receive from the U.S. military before heading to Afghanistan could also be used in Georgia’s “very difficult security environment.” Asked if he was referring to the possibility of another war with Russia, he said, “In general, yes.”

    “This experience will be important for the Georgian armed forces itself – for the level of training,” Sikharulidze said during the interview in his office.

    Within hours, Sikharulidze retracted his comments, which had sparked immediate alarm among U.S. military officials who said they were not giving Georgian troops any training aimed at fighting Russia.

    In a second AP interview, Sikharulidze said he did not mean to imply that the training would be used for military missions other than in Afghanistan. He would not say whether the American training program, which focuses on counterinsurgency tactics, would teach the Georgian troops any combat lessons.

    “It’s standard training that all troops going to Afghanistan receive,” Sikharulidze said.

    He added: “The security environment is really serious here, but more than this, we feel that we can do our new mission and we can send our troops in ISAF. And we feel that by sending these troops to ISAF we can contribute to the security stability for Afghanistan.”

    ISAF is the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

    Sikharulidze’s initial comments triggered a brief diplomatic crisis for the United States, which does not want to be pulled into the simmering feud between Georgia and Russia following its five-day war last year. American officials also do not want to jeopardize any opportunity to encourage allied nations to send soldiers to Afghanistan at a time when the U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is resisting adding to the 68,000 U.S. troops that will be there by the year’s end.

    On Sept. 1, approximately 65 Marines will begin training a Georgian army battalion in counterinsurgency tactics before the troops head to Helmand province, the Taliban-infested region in southern Afghanistan. Sikharulidze met Friday with Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway to discuss the training program.

    Earlier this week, Conway told The AP that the U.S. training program didn’t include skills that could be used against Russia.

    Counterinsurgency skills “aren’t very helpful when it comes to main force-type units if there were to be engagement of nations,” Conway said. “I am very comfortable that what we’re doing is very much aboveboard and is commensurate with what the country has said they need to put troops in Afghanistan.”

    Several Georgian government officials echoed Conway’s comments that the Marine training is not intended for use in any future face-offs with Russia.

    Sikharulidze also said that while Georgia has committed to fighting in Afghanistan for two years, officials would pull back its troops if war broke out again with Russia.

    Georgia says last year’s war started with a Russian invasion of the South Ossetia separatist region and that Russia aimed to regain control of Georgia. Russia says the fighting started with a Georgian assault.

    Russia recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent.

    During the initial interview with The AP, Sikharulidze cited what he called several Russian violations contributing to the feud between Tbilisi and Moscow, including Russian troops stationed on Georgia soil.

    “So that makes our security environment really very serious and difficult and it’s quite alarming, really,” Sikharulidze said.

    The U.S. training mission gives new life to a program that stalled when Marines left Georgia last year, shortly after the war broke out. Then, American troops were helping Georgians prepare to deploy to Iraq.

    Similarly, the United States gave Georgia military aid in 2002 and 2003 to help improve counterterror capabilities. Russia objected to the U.S. aid and claimed that Georgian forces were refusing to root out Chechen rebels who were taking shelter in Georgia.


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