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US Assistant Secretary of State Dismisses Georgian Dream's Conspiracies as Unfounded

By Liza Mchedlidze
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O'Brien, highlighted that apart from the "Foreign Agents" bill, another crucial topic of discussion during his visit to Georgia was the attitudes of the leaders of Georgian Dream towards Georgia's partnership with the US.

"We came because the USA highly values its relations with Georgia and sees them as a strategic partnership. However, recent statements and decisions made by the Georgian government in parliament have raised questions about whether the Georgian government shares the same interests," said O'Brien.

Assistant Secretary of State O'Brien also mentioned the significant aid provided by the United States to Georgia over the past 30 years, amounting to six billion dollars, which has supported the construction of state institutions and military assistance.

"If this law remains in its current form and does not align with EU standards, and if we observe a weakening of democracy and violence against peaceful demonstrators, there will certainly be restrictions imposed by the US. Primarily, these restrictions will target the financial aspects and travel of specific individuals responsible for these actions and their families," stated James O'Brien.

He indicated that both the law itself and the process of its adoption fall short of these standards, and expressed hope for further discussions on the issue to ensure that transparency standards in Georgia align with those of Europe.

However, O'Brien emphasized that discussions about the law were just a small part of the broader conversation, where the topics of the Georgian Dream party and Ivanishvili's conspiracy theories held significant importance.

"The law was a small part of a broader conversation", he said, "and the broader conversation includes comments made by leaders of Georgian Dream that there is a global war party, and that Georgia must turn away from the commitments made to the global war party, and that there is a conspiracy by the West to remove GD from office - despite 12 years of strong cooperation".

He mocked such conspiracy theories, saying: "this is like a Reddit page came to life".

"It is unreal, wrong, and a complete misunderstanding of the International community's relationship with Georgia", he added.

O'Brien cited one example of such conspiracy theories as Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze telling him Ivanishvili would not meet him because the US had him 'under defacto sanctions'.

"There are no sanctions on him, at this point", for such an influential individual to be this badly misinformed is both shocking and disappointing." O'Brien said.