Armenian and Azerbaijani experts comment on events around Georgia's ex-president Saakashvili
Azerbaijani and Armenian experts comment on Saakashvili’s arrest, hunger strike
What do Azerbaijan and Armenia think about the events of the last month in Georgia, over 40 days of hunger strike of the arrested ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili and protests held by thousands of his supporters?
None of the official structures of Georgi’s neighboring countries have ever made any comments about the ongoing events. JAMnews invited political analysts in Armenia and Azerbaijan to comment on the situation.
Political observer Shahin Jafarli, Baku
“The lack of reaction from the Azerbaijani authorities to what is happening in Georgia should be viewed from the prism of the country’s foreign policy. With the exception of Armenia, with which Azerbaijan has special relations, the country’s authorities have never commented on events in neighboring and friendly countries.
Azerbaijan also lacks the practice of establishing relations with the opposition in neighboring countries. Azerbaijani authorities prefer to work with governments.
As for the situation in Georgia itself, it raises serious concerns. For many years this neighboring country has been a stronghold of democracy in the region. This concerns the period of Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency and the period when he peacefully transferred power to the newly elected authorities.
But what is happening now in this country takes it far from democracy. Clashes with the opposition, falsification of election results, especially in the second round of the recent municipal elections – all this is not consistent with the democratic image of this country.
The attitude of the authorities to the politician, who was the president of this country, is completely unacceptable. They are trying to humiliate him by all available means, they fraudulently transferred him to another prison – all conditions are created to risk his life, despite the fact that the ex-president went on a hunger strike.
It’s no secret that Aliyev and Saakashvili had personal, friendly relations and it is quite possible that consultations are being conducted through closed channels.
But I, like the Georgian opposition, expect more decisive actions from the United States and the European Union. These Western powers have a much greater influence on politics in Georgia than neighboring countries. Yes, the West has already expressed its concern about what is happening, but a more categorical opinion and intervention would be appropriate”.
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Political commentator Hakob Badalyan, Yerevan
“I believe that the situation in Georgia is an internal affair of Georgia, official Yerevan has no reason to interfere and express any position. The stability in Georgia is always an important factor for Armenia, which the country regularly states.
For a long time now, Georgia has a very difficult internal political situation. We can only hope that the development of events in Georgia will not reach any destabilizing scenario, because this circumstance is extremely important for Armenia”.
Expert on Georgia Johnny Melikyan, Yerevan
“What is happening in Georgia is logical, it is a continuation of the internal political processes in Georgia in recent years.
It is unnecessary to talk about the reaction on the part of Armenia, since these are the internal affairs of Georgia. If you remember, a few days ago Nika Gvaramia turned to Navalny and Pashinyan, saying that Georgia was waiting for a response to the Saakashvili case. I think it right to remind Nika Gvaramia that there are two court decisions related to Saakashvili, and there are trials in several cases.
In addition, Saakashvili returned to Georgia illegally, I do not think that one can expect that anyone would have any questions about his arrest.
Let me remind you that Europe and the United States did not officially obstruct or did not try to prevent the arrest of Saakashvili. However, today there are concerns about his safety and health.
The Armenian-Georgian relations have been quite dynamic in recent years and are yielding quite positive results. I don’t think it is necessary for Armenian authorities to interfere and complicate the Armenian-Georgian relations”.