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Norland questions Georgian officials

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 9
The ambassador of the United States to Georgia asked a question to the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili. The question concerned the president’s visit to the United States and the arrests of former officials.

The ambassador asked Margvelashvili if he would respond to those people in the United States, who have certain skepticism towards the arrests of former high-ranking officials.

Margvelashvili answered, saying that currently Georgia is facing several challenges with regard to the former officials’ cases.

“We see that our dearest friends in Europe and in the U.S. are concerned with the issue and their attitude is important,” stated Margvelashvili, adding that Georgian allies have done much for the country’s advancement and stressed that their views are significant for him. On the other hand, the president admitted that Georgians should be given the possibility to overcome the concerns and current developments through open discussions. Margvelashvili said that such discussions are essential for Georgia’s development and raising democratic standards.

“This should be done within the country,” the president said.

He stressed that the Law- enforcement agencies should carry out their work and this must be done without any political interference.

“I think that our society should take an active part in the process. I want to see more politicians involved in this discussion. Several days ago I heard the strange statements made by some politicians, that they will do their work and then will send me a list of these people to pardon them. It's a very inexperienced, unprofessional approach to justice issues,” Margvelashvili said.

Analyst Kakha Gogolashvili believes that there are shortcomings in terms of former officials’ cases.

“I believe that the president is fair when he states on the shortcomings. The shortcomings are mentioned by the EU and the United States and maybe it is right that the president speaks about it, Gogolashvili said.

Fellow analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili thinks that the president has a reason to speak in such a way that will be more understandable for Georgia’s international partners.

Analyst, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s former advisor Gia Khukhashvili addressed the speakers of the Georgian Dream coalition to study from the president.

“It was a very balanced politician. I would advise the speakers of the Georgian Dream, who quite often respond to criticism with anxious faces, to often listen to Margevlashvili,” Khukhashvili said.

U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland hoped that Giorgi Margvelashvili will pay his visit to Washington in the near future. The statements and the wish were revealed during the president’s meeting with the U.S Chamber of Commerce representatives. The meeting was held at the Tbilisi Marriot hotel on October 8. Giorgi Margvelashvili met with about 100 representatives of the chamber.