President Salome Zurabishvili Condemns Airstrikes on Ukrainian Cities
President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili posted on Twitter and Facebook on 10 October to condemn Russia’s bombing of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, and other cities in the country.
“Terrible news of bombing of Kyiv and other cities,” she stated and added that it was “an indiscriminate attack on civilians meant to destroy, to instill fear.”
“But the world has seen the determination of the Ukrainian nation,” she underscored. “All of Georgia stands with Ukraine.”
Under Secretary Jenkins visited Georgia
While speaking at the Biosafety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus (BACAC) Regional Conference in Tbilisi on 6 October, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Bonnie Jenkins said that when she meets with members of the Georgian government, she will deliver “a message of strong support from Washington for the tremendous work Ambassador [Kelly] Degnan and her Embassy team have done to help advance Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations…”
Undersecretary Jenkins emphasized, “these efforts have not come easily, especially of late, where we’ve been dismayed to see personal attacks on Ambassador Degnan and the Embassy.”
The Undersecretary of State highlighted that the attacks against the U.S. Ambassador in Georgia are part of “a bigger pattern of disinformation aimed at obscuring the truth and the realities of the current crisis in Europe that one man has created.”
Speaking with journalists on 6 October, Irakli Kobakhidze, chairperson of the Georgian Dream party responded to U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins’ comments about attacks on U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan, by stating that the only attacks he remembers on the U.S. Ambassador came from Nika Melia, chairperson of the United National Movement, and Nika Gvaramia, the imprisoned director of Mtavari Arkhi TV.
According to MP Kobakhidze, chairperson Melia and Gvaramia were the ones who made insulting remarks towards the U.S. Ambassador. “I just don’t remember another attack. Therefore, I don’t know who she [U.S. Undersecretary of State] was referring to, you have to ask her, but I would say that there were only two attacks – Melia, [and] Gvaramia, there were no other attacks on the American Ambassador,” he said.
In response to a journalist’s hints that Undersecretary Jenkins was likely referring to the numerous statements made by the Georgian Dream MPs who left the party and founded the anti-Western People’s Power movement, MP Kobakhidze replied that they had simply asked questions, which “were not answered.” “That is certainly not an attack,” he added.
When a journalist asked whether Georgian Dream plans to separate itself from statements made by the founders of People Power, MP Kobakhidze remarked, “If we were of the mind that they are attacking the Ambassador, that they are damaging relations, etc. in that case, of course, we would have a separation.”
Prime Minister Meets European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on 6 October on the sidelines of the first summit of the European Political Community (EPC) in Prague, Czech Republic on 6-7 October.
The Georgian Government’s press service noted that while meeting with President Ursula von der Leyen, the Prime Minister spoke about the “historic decision” to grant European perspective to Georgia while pointing out that the country “is doing everything to take the next step toward EU membership and receive the EU candidate status.”
In that context, Prime Minister Garibashvili brought attention to the European Commission’s 12 recommendations for EU candidate status and emphasized that “this inclusive process enables every branch of government, alongside the opposition parties, and civil society to become fully engaged in the implementation of the priorities…”
The conversation also concerned the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on Georgia, the wider region, and the world.
Georgia’s further alignment and infrastructural communication with the EU in digital, transport, and energy areas were considered as well.
On her part, President von der Leyen tweeted after the meeting, “The EU remains committed to Georgia’s security and territorial integrity.”
“We also want Georgia to advance and succeed on its EU path. Reform efforts must be sustained,” she underscored and added that the European Commission “is ready to support in this process.”