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President represents country at highest-level meeting

By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 19
A strange situation was created prior to the European Parliament’s session, where the Georgian-EU Association Agreement (AA) should have been ratified.

On the one hand, the current government claimed that EU integration is its key priority, while on the other hand, it sent the heads of the parliament committees to sign the AA.

Instead, President Giorgi Margvelashvili decided to attend the session.

Several obscure statements have been made by government representatives. Some of them stated that the Georgian parliament’s delegation should have attended the meeting as the session was held at the European Parliament.

Owing to health-related problems, Parliament Chair Davit Usupashvili could not attend the process. It was revealed later that Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili had been invited to participate in the event. However, he was not going to leave, and sent a special letter to the European Parliament MPs instead.

There was speculation that the reason behind the controversy was the critical remarks written in the resolution of the European Parliament towards the current government several months ago, others assured that the reason might have been the invitation of Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili to the session by the European People’s Party.

Analyst Tornike Sharashenidze believed that the government should have made clear statements over the Georgian delegation’s related controversy.

The President’s Press Service made a statement regarding Margvelashvili’s presence at the session on December 17, responding to large-scale speculation and turmoil with regard to the absence of a high-level Georgian delegation to the EU.

After the statement, Georgia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement, reading that Foreign Minister Tamar Baruchashvili would also attended the ratification procedure.

Romania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Sweden and Croatia have already ratified the Georgian-EU Association Agreement that also includes an agreement on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade (DCFTA). The document will come into force when the EU and all its 28 states ratify the agreement.