News / Europe

Newly Elected Leaders in Georgia Promise to Look West

Newly Elected Leaders in Georgia Promise to Look Westi
|| 0:00:00
X
Jeff Seldin
October 09, 2012 10:50 PM
It will be Georgia's first peaceful transition of power since breaking away from the former Soviet Union. Billionaire politician Bidzina Ivanishvili met with President Mikheil Saakashvili Tuesday, hoping to ease the way for Ivanishvili's Georgia Dream coalition to take control of parliament after last week's watershed elections. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.

Newly Elected Leaders in Georgia Promise to Look West

It will be Georgia's first peaceful transition of power since breaking away from the former Soviet Union.  Billionaire politician Bidzina Ivanishvili met with President Mikheil Saakashvili Tuesday, hoping to ease the way for Ivanishvili's Georgia Dream coalition to take control of parliament after last week's watershed elections.

The meeting was a show of unity after a bitter political campaign.

Ivanishvili said one constant must be Georgia's movement toward the West.

"Europe and the Euro-Atlantic space is an essence of our strategy, and there will be a continuation of the course of the previous government.  We will move towards Europe, and Georgia will become a NATO member country in the nearest future,''  Ivanishvili said.

But Ivanishvili has also said he will seek closer cooperation with Russia.  
 
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov remained cautiously optimistic. "We hope the new government in Georgia, when it's formed, will pursue a course to normalize relations with all its neighbors, including Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia,'' Lavrov said.

The breakaway Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are a sticky subject for Georgia, since Russia has recognized their independence.  And Lavrov met Tuesday with South Ossetia's foreign minister.

For now, though, Georgia's leaders appear focused on a smooth transition at home. President Saakashvili downplaying the animosity that marked the run-up to the parliamentary election.

"And I think there is one major thing which should be emphasized.  I want to wish my people success. I am sure that Georgia will have a great future and we (United National Movement party) are going to be an important part of this future as citizens and politicians,"  Saakashvili said.

The world is waiting to see how this critical transition ultimately plays out.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid