9 Aug 2018 19:21

Georgian foreign minister responding to statement of predecessor on 2008 war calls for taking note of official statements

TBILISI. Aug 9 (Interfax) - Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has disagreed with one of his predecessors Salome Zurabishvili who is running for presidency about who started the war in August 2008.

"I have expressed my own opinion and also the opinion of the Foreign Ministry in general that in 2008 Russia launched an aggression that was followed by the occupation of this country's territory. This is the position what we constantly state. This is the position that we constantly express at all international forums, in all our statements. It is the position we speak of at the international Geneva discussions," Zalkaliani said to media representatives on Thursday.

That was his comment on Zurabishvili's remark that the Georgian authorities led by the then president Mikheil Saakashvili were responsible for the beginning of the hostilities in South Ossetia.

According to Zalkaliani, Zurabishvili is an independent presidential candidate and her remark concerning the 2008 war is her personal opinion.

Earlier reports said Zurabishvili finds it necessary to look into the true causes for the war in South Ossetia in August 2008.

Zurabishvili, an independent member of the Georgian parliament and former foreign minister, on Monday announced intentions of running for presidency.

In 2013 she already tried to do that but the Georgian Central Elections Commission refused to register her as a candidate because she was a dual citizen of Georgia and France. Last week she submitted an application to the French embassy in Tbilisi to strip her of French citizenship.

Previously Georgian media did not rule out that the ruling Georgian Dream party which refused to nominate its candidate in the election may urge its voters to support Zurabishvili. The party said it is not rushing to make the final decision whom to support in the election.

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili last week issued a special decree setting the next presidential election for October 28.