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Carl Hartzell responds to the incident near the EU office between Melia and Kobakhidze

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, September 27
Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Carl Hartzell responded to the incident near the EU office in Georgia on September 23. The statement of the EU Ambassador was issued by the EU Embassy in Tbilisi.

He stated that the security situation created after the confrontation at the office was alarming.

On September 23, Carl Hartzell, together with other EU member states, hosted an individual meeting with the leaders of the Georgian political parties to discuss the current election process in the country.

Near the office, Chairman of Georgian Dream Irakli Kobakhidze, and UNM leader Nika Melia confronted each other. EU Ambassador said that he was saddened due to the aggression near the office. However, he welcomed the fact that one of them apologized to the public and called on them to remain calm.

He also said that he was alarmed by the situation that followed the confrontation, saying that he had to communicate with the relevant state services. The EU Ambassador once again condemned the acts of violence in the pre-election context and called for their prompt and in-depth investigation.

“Next week, on the election day, all Georgian voters should enjoy a peaceful environment, allowing them to exercise their democratic right by casting their ballots freely, safely, and without fear of violence or intimidation,” added Hartzell.

He said that it is the responsibility of the Georgian government to make sure the rights of Georgian citizens are safe.

Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream, later said he wanted to apologize to the public for his words.

Georgian Dream believes that the response of the EU Ambassador to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, to the confrontation between Nika Melia and Irakli Kobakhidze should have been different. According to the ruling party, the ambassador did not assess the incident accurately.

“Such statements could become a kind of green light for Nikanor Melia to carry out new provocations,” said Kobakhidze.

Georgian Dream MP Shalva Papuashvili responded to Hartzell's statement, saying that it is fortunate that “he did not condemn the provocation of Nika Melia."

A heated verbal confrontation happened between Nika Melia and Irakli Kobakhidze near the EU Delegation office in Tbilisi on September 23.