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PACE President visits Tbilisi

By Ana Robakidze
Friday, May 8
Georgia has suffered a lot more than other countries of Eastern Europe, President of the European Council’s Parliamentary Assembly, Anne Brasseur, said in Tbilisi. Brasseur paid a two-day official visit to Georgia and met with President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili and chairperson of the Supreme Court, Nino Gvenetadze.

“It is important for me to go to countries and establish personal contact, and in order to understand the country and its people better, to meet politicians, the civil society and of course, the Press,” The PACE president said at the joint press conference held after her meeting with Usupashvili. She praised Georgian MPs for being very active at PACE.

Speaking about the problem in Ukraine and Georgia, as well as the pressure Russia is putting on the region, Brasseur said violence and hatred has been a growing problem everywhere, but the parties might keep in mind that violence cannot be a solution.

“We need to find the solution together; violence is not the only way out. It is not easy, but we should continue looking into diplomatic options,” Brasseur stated. She spoke about Russia’s suspended right to vote in PACE, and said that Russian MPs were wrong to have left the PACE session and refuse to work at the assembly. “We have not suspended their credentials, we suspended their right to vote and we still want to work with them,” the PACE President said. She also mentioned that the main principle of respecting territorial integrity should be a guideline in negotiations, especially if the talks are concerning Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

According to Brasseur, Georgia should carefully follow and finalize reforming its institutions. Reform of Constitution, election law and judiciary is indispensable, she said, adding that everything the government does has to be done for the citizens for better protection of Georgia people and protection of their rights.

The PACE President arrived in Kutaisi on May 8, to meet MPs from the ruling coalition as well as from opposition. She also met Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili.