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Georgians respond to US report on terrorism

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 25
The report of the US Department of States of 2014 reveals that Georgia still remains a transit route for terrorists.

The report reads that in 2014, Georgia continued its robust engagement with the United States across a range of counterterrorism-related issues and remained a strong U.S. counterterrorism partner.

“However, there are continuing concerns about Georgia as a transit and source country for international terrorism.

“The media reported that, as of December, between 50 and 100 Georgian nationals from the Muslim-majority regions of Adjara and the Pankisi Gorge were fighting in Syria and Iraq for either al-Qa’ida affiliates or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including senior ISIL commander Tarkhan Batirashvili (aka Omar al-Shishani). Given Georgia’s geographic location, violent Islamist extremists continued to transit through the country between the Russian Federation’s North Caucasus and Syria and Iraq,” the report reads.

It has also been highlighted that the Georgian government has carried out several legislative steps to suspend the undesirable process and made the participation in terrorist groups or connection with them as a criminal code offense.

Responding to the report Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili says that Georgia is fighting against terrorism. However, he adds that working in this field should continue.

“We have not ignored any international initiatives related to the topic,” Margvelashvili says.

The Foreign Ministry of Georgia stated that the USA appreciated Georgia’s non-stop efforts against terrorism and gave positive assessments to the steps taken by the Georgian government against the threat.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli says that Georgia still fails to control the occupied regions and Russia might use the regions for improper actions.

Analyst Mamuka Nebieridze stresses that such documents are drafted for those issues to be surfaced that must be in focus.

Fellow analyst Besik Aladashvili suggests that the Georgian governments have always failed to control the areas in Georgia that are inhabited by the ethnic Muslim population.

He states that the United States has much information concerning the topic and the report reflects reality.

“Much should be done for prevention in those regions where from the youngsters leave for terrorism purposes,” Aladashvili says.