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In Quotes: Political Reactions to Alleged Spying on Diplomats

Reports of State Security Service allegedly spying on EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell, U.S. diplomats, Israeli Ambassador Ran Gidor, as well as employees of other diplomatic missions in Georgia, triggered diverse political reactions in Georgia. 

Below is a compilation of the remarks: 

PM Irakli Garibashvili, Georgian Dream: “I am not saying that the opposition records [the conversations] and spreads [the files], but the opposition [is] behind all this fabrication and falsification… The state has the State Security Service because it conducts legitimate wiretappings within the limits established by law. This is obvious to everyone… The whole world is governed in this way… We understand very well that this severe campaign, which was directed against the [Orthodox] Church and the government, now against diplomats, serves only one political, narrow party interest…”

MP Khatia Dekanoidze UNM member, Kutaisi mayorial candidate: “Today I accidentally found out that my phone conversation with a [foreign] embassy representative was also recorded and uploaded in the files. An unimaginable thing is happening – they are wiretapping everyone, from gardeners to the priests, their own ministers, opposition leaders… bishops, apparently they are even wiretapping [Georgian Dream founder] Bidzina Ivanishvili.”

Lelo – Partnership for Georgia parliamentary faction: “We are particularly concerned that the alleged facts of illegal spying and surveillance of diplomatic missions are regarding our country’s strategic allies. In gross violation of international law, the government supposedly wiretaps those countries [embassies] and organizations that play a fundamental role in addressing Georgia’s challenges, including in security and neutralizing threats from Russia… The wiretappings once again show that the actual foreign policy of the Georgian Dream is completely out of line with the Euro-Atlantic course.”

Batu Kutelia, Droa party, Tbilisi Vake district majoritarian candidate: “The current de-facto rulers [referring to the GD government] are governing the state with Russian-type methods. This happens in Russia – foreign diplomats are being wiretapped, stalked, their movements are tracked, because [Russia] considers the free world an enemy. Exactly the same is happening today, [Georgian Dream founder] Bidzina Ivanishvili and his team consider the rest of the free world, which we call our strategic allies, as their enemy.”

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