Charles Michel calls parties to “step up their efforts” to end to Georgia’s political crisis

Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, has called for an end to the political crisis in Georgia during a press conference with the country’s president, Salome Zurabishvili. He referred to the crisis as “of great concern to the European Union”, asking all parties to “step up their efforts to de-escalate the situation and come together to find common ground”.

Opposition supporters marched in Tbilisi last week, protesting the arrest of the leader of the largest opposition party, the United National Movement’s Nika Melia. The authorities have charged Melia with instigating violence at protests in 2019; however, his supporters claim that the charges are politically motivated. Opposition politicians continue to boycott parliament and call for fresh elections, disputing the legitimacy of the parliamentary elections in October that were won by the Georgian Dream party.

During the press conference, Michel expressed an understanding of the difficulties that the crisis presents, but faith that the country was capable of finding a solution:

“I realise that political debate within a democratic framework requires leadership as well as courage on the part of all parties involved in the political debate. I am convinced that Georgia has the assets to overcome the current challenges and to consolidate the foundations of its democracy.” 

The President of the European Council also met with the new Georgian prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili (pictured), and stated his intention to speak with both the opposition leaders and the speaker of the Georgian parliament.

Michel is in Georgia this week as part of a trip which includes Moldova and Ukraine, to show the EU’s commitment to the states of its Eastern Partnership initiative. In his statement, Michel expressed the EU's support for Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity in respect of its separatist territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, referring to the bloc as being “firmly on [Georgia’s] side”. Whilst in Georgia, Michel visited the Administrative Boundary Line in the village of Khurvaleti in Georgia's Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia).

Tomorrow (2 March), the President of the European Council will visit Ukraine.

source: commonspace.eu with the press service of the president of the European Council
photo: Charles Michel greets the Georgian prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili; government of Georgia press office.

Related articles

Editor's choice
News
Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell underlined that the European Union will make every effort to support the peace process and to remain a committed partner to the Afghan people. "Of course, we will have to take into account the evolving situation, but disengagement is not an option.  We are clear on that: there is no alternative to a negotiated political settlement, through inclusive peace talks.
Editor's choice
News
Georgian opposition outraged as ruling party tears up EU brokered deal

Georgian opposition outraged as ruling party tears up EU brokered deal

It always looked wobbly, and with little chance that it would succeed in resolving Georgia's deep political crisis. But on Wednesday (28 July), the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party finally sunk the so called "Michel Agreement" signed with much fanfare on 19 April. The Georgian opposition is outraged, and things are back to square one, if not worse.

Popular

Editor's choice
News
Georgian opposition outraged as ruling party tears up EU brokered deal

Georgian opposition outraged as ruling party tears up EU brokered deal

It always looked wobbly, and with little chance that it would succeed in resolving Georgia's deep political crisis. But on Wednesday (28 July), the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party finally sunk the so called "Michel Agreement" signed with much fanfare on 19 April. The Georgian opposition is outraged, and things are back to square one, if not worse.