President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Rik Daems, is visiting on July 27-28 Georgia, where he has already met Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava, as well as lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties.
At the meeting with Georgian PM, the two discussed the October 2 local elections, July 5-6 homophobic violence and the implementation of the EU-brokered April 19 deal. PM Garibashvili said the Government is “motivated” to hold the polls in a “calm and transparent environment,” the Government Administration press service reported.
“The PM noted that police performed at a high level [on July 5-6], every act of violence against journalists will be investigated shortly and every wrongdoer punished appropriately,” said the press release.
According to the same report, the Georgian PM said that provisions envisaged in the EU-mediated deal have been implemented, and the process continues. Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani was also in attendance at the meeting
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The nearing local polls and the EU-brokered deal were the key discussion topics during the PACE President’s meeting with Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava as well, as reported by the Parliament’s press service.
The report cited President Daems as saying that all political parties must participate in implementing the agreement struck between the GD and the opposition. United National Movement party is the only major opposition group that has refrained from signing.
Meeting with governing party chair MP Irakli Kobakhidze and lawmakers Giorgi Khelashvili, Maka Bochorisvhili and Irakli Chikovani, the PACE President Discussed regional developments and Russian occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
“We’d like the PACE to observe directly the ongoing processes in the occupied regions, especially as regards the protection of human rights,” said MP Kobakhidze.
The PACE President also sat down with opposition lawmakers – Khatia Dekanoidze of the United National Movement, Badri Japaridze of Lelo, Khatuna Samnidze of the Republican Party, Aleko Elisashvili of the Citizens and Pridon Injia of the European Socialists.
“We are clearly pointing out that unfortunately, Georgian Dream has a trait of disrespecting and violating agreements,” said MP Japaridze, stressing the need for international partners to step up “pressure” on fully implementing the agreement.
Also on June 27, President Daems met the Georgian delegation to PACE, as reported by the Parliament’s press service.
During his two day trip, the PACE President is set to also meet Justice Minister Rati Bregadze and Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri.
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