The meeting between NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has been set again for May 18, after the Alliance’s press office initially reported earlier in the day that the arrangement had been canceled.
The NATO press office has not disclosed any details as to why the Secretary General’s reception of the Georgian PM was canceled initially. The Georgian Government has not commented on the matter either.
Civil.ge has reached out to both offices for further details about the initial cancelation, and their responses will be published if provided.
Following the reported cancelation, Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee Chair Nikoloz Samkharadze had claimed that the meeting between the Georgian PM and Secretary General Stoltenberg was postponed because the NATO chief had fallen ill.
Still, the news about the canceled meeting had triggered concerns among the Georgian opposition.
“Today’s — let us call it — démarche was a serious slap in the face of the Georgian Government,” said MP Roman Gotsiridze of the United National Movement, the largest opposition party.
“This fact was, first of all, a serious warning, after which there will be other steps and unfortunately the country may even come under threat of being sanctioned,” the UNM MP suggested.
MP Giorgi Vashadze, chair of the Strategy Aghmashenebeli party suggested today that the cancelation was a “response” to the conviction of government-critical Mtavarhi Arkhi TV chief Nika Gvaramia, imprisoned shortly before the Georgian PM departed for Brussels.
“This is an answer to the wrongful campaign, [that] contravenes Georgia’s national interests, kicked off by the Georgian Dream, [claiming] that the West wants to draw Georgia into war,” he added.
NB: This article was revised at 16:23, May 18 as per NATO’s updated press release.