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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid