Conference of Georgian foreign ambassadors in Tbilisi
Conference of Georgian ambassadors
The leaders of Georgia met for an annual conference of the country’s ambassadors, held on December 26 in Tbilisi, where the consensus was that the Georgian government strictly follows the recommendations of the European Union and does not make unnecessary statements about Ukraine, as it is in a state of war.
President Salome Zurabishvili did not attend the conference. Her administration said that a gross violation had been committed — she was not assigned the seat indicated in the protocol.
Foreign Minister Ilya Darchiashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili spoke at the meeting.
“We respect the sovereignty of everyone, but most of all we love our country,” Irakli Garibashvili said.
According to the latter, it was unpleasant for the Georgian government to hear statements from “representatives of the Ukrainian government.” The Prime Minister noted that since Ukraine is in a state of war, the Georgian government does not make unnecessary statements on this topic.
The Georgian government has “correctly and effectively” fulfilled the twelve recommendations from the European Commission to obtain the status of an EU candidate, Garibashvili also said.
“Working groups have been created in the parliament for this. But I want to note that representatives of the opposition parties were not fully involved in this process, although in the end some of them did participate. I want to thank everyone because it was really hard work.
We have carefully completed all the tasks that were assigned to us. The rest of the process continues. As you know, we have sent several bills to the Venice Commission, and now we are waiting for its conclusion,” Garibashvili said.
He also again emphasized that granting the status of EU candidates to Ukraine and Moldova in the summer of 2022 was a political decision, despite the fact that Georgia is “two, three steps ahead” of these countries.
According to him, it was said quite openly that Ukraine received candidate status because it was in a state of war, while Moldova was said to be in a state equivalent to war:
“We fully understand this motivation, we wish success to Moldova and Ukraine. We want peace and prosperity in these countries.”
Foreign Minister Ilya Darchiashvili said in his speech that under the leadership of Garibashvili, Georgia managed to cope with external threats.
“In other words, in 2022 Georgia proved that the country’s state institutions are able to effectively cope with challenges, which is a sign of a stable and successful state,” Darchiashvili said.
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On December 14, the European Parliament adopted an annual resolution on the implementation of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union. Before the adoption of the final resolution, the European Parliament also voted for separate amendments, most of which were supported by MPs.
The document also includes compromise amendments adopted in November, according to which the European Parliament recommends making a decision regarding the excessive influence of Bidzina Ivanishvili.
According to one of the new amendments, in the face of Ivanishvili’s excessive influence, MEPs call on the Council and democratic partners to “take appropriate measures, including the imposition of personal sanctions against Ivanishvili and all those responsible for the deterioration of the democratic regime.”
The European Parliament continues to call on the authorities to allow imprisoned ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili to receive medical treatment abroad on a humanitarian basis, which will help reduce polarization in society.
In addition, by a resolution of December 14, the European Parliament calls on the authorities to stop politically motivated criminal cases and reconsider cases against employees and owners of media criticizing the government, and their families. The resolution explicitly mentions the case of Nika Gvaramia, the founder of Georgia’s main opposition TV channel, Mtavari Arkhi.
Conference of Georgian ambassadors