GD Chair Responds to U.S. Undersecretary Criticism

Speaking with journalists on 6 October, Irakli Kobakhidze, chairperson of the Georgian Dream party responded to U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins’ comments today about attacks on U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan, by stating that the only attacks he remembers on the U.S. Ambassador came from Nika Melia, chairperson of the United National Movement, and Nika Gvaramia, the imprisoned director of Mtavari Arkhi TV.

Undersecretary Jenkins said today that the recent attacks against the U.S. Ambassador are part of a pattern of disinformation “aimed at obscuring the truth and the realities of the current crisis in Europe that one man has created.” She also underscored that she plans to deliver a message of “strong support” for Ambassador Degnan in her scheduled meetings with members of the Georgian government.

According to MP Kobakhidze, chairperson Melia and Gvaramia were the ones who made insulting remarks towards the U.S. Ambassador. “I just don’t remember another attack. Therefore, I don’t know who she [U.S. Undersecretary of State] was referring to, you have to ask her, but I would say that there were only two attacks – Melia, [and] Gvaramia, there were no other attacks on the American Ambassador,” he said.

In response to a journalist’s hints that Undersecretary Jenkins was likely referring to the numerous statements made by the Georgian Dream MPs who left the party and founded the anti-Western People Power movement, MP Kobakhidze replied that they had simply asked questions, which “were not answered.” “That is certainly not an attack,” he added.

When a journalist asked whether Georgian Dream plans to separate itself from statements made by the founders of People Power, MP Kobakhidze remarked, “If we were of the mind that they are attacking the Ambassador, that they are damaging relations, etc. in that case, of course, we would have a separation.”

According to the Georgian Dream chairperson, however, “Georgia is proud of the fact that after 2012, we have freedom of expression, and freedom of expression is relevant not only within the country but also in international relations.”

“Naturally, no one can restrict freedom of expression. If someone tries to restrict the freedom of expression of these people, the Constitutional will, of course, protect them,” he stressed.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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