Co-rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for monitoring of Georgia, Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC) and Claude Kern (France, ALDE) are in Tbilisi on December 8-10 for a fact-finding visit.
On December 9, the PACE monitors held meetings with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava, and lawmakers of the Parliament’s Legal Issues Committe.
The co-rapporteurs’ meeting with PM Garibashvili focused among other issues on the 2021 local elections, the Georgian Government’s press sevice reported. The Georgian PM said during the discussion that Georgian authorities conducted the polls in a transparent, free and fair environment
The sides also touched on the humanitarian situation in Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia the role of CoE in resolving the conflict peacefully.
Also on December 9, the PACE Co-Rapporteurs discussed with Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani relations between Georgia and CoE, cooperation in the PACE and the country’s reforms, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported.
FM Zalkaliani condemned Russia’s aggressive actions against Georgia and the region, including the recent military build-up near the Ukrainian border, according to the same report. Georgian FM said this threatens the security of Ukraine, the Black Sea region, and Europe altogether.
FM Zalkaliani also briefed the PACE monitors on issues related to the occupied regions, including the 55th round of the Geneva International Discussions.
As for the co-rapporteurs’ meeting with Speaker Kuchava, the key discussion topic was 2021 local polls, the Georgian Parliament’s press service reported. The sides also discussed Georgia’s past and ongoing reforms.
Also on December 9, Legal Issues Committee Chair Anri Okhanashvili and members informed the co-rapporteurs about the recent changes to the common courts legislation, as well as planned constitutional amendments and reform of the code of administrative offenses.
As part of the trip, the PACE monitors also plan to meet with members of the Georgian delegation to PACE, political factions in the Parliament, representatives of the judiciary, the Ethnic Minorities Council, the State Agency for Religious Issues, LGBT and diplomatic communities and the Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary, a group uniting local watchdogs.