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President Meets CSOs

President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, held a meeting with the representatives of civil society organizations on 18 September. While no official comments were made after the meeting, in her introductory remarks, the President underscored the crucial role the civil society organizations play in achieving the EU candidacy.

“I consider myself the representative of the people, population, the society and I am addressing you as you are the active part of this very same society, having the opportunity to reach out to it,” – Zurabishvili said, adding that Georgia will receive the EU candidate status, but “nothing in life comes by itself.”

The President urged all stakeholders to contribute towards achieving EU candidacy and committed to continuing her own efforts in this endeavor. Zurabishvili declared her intention to continue with her visits across Europe, which include plans to visit the Baltic states, Poland, and Belgium as part of her efforts to support Georgia’s EU candidacy.

The President stressed that the media has the responsibility to ensure that the public attention cannot be diverted from the most pressing issue. “The country and the people want the European future. We do not have a different future and I want to stress this, the future cannot be Russia. Georgia will not let it happen, I will not let it happen, you will not let it happen and nobody will let it happen.”

Zurabishvili also criticized Mayor of Tbilisi from the ruling Georgian Dream party, Kakha Kaladze, who had scolded the President for her unauthorized visits across the European capitals. In response, the President emphasized that the “biggest tragedy” for the country is not her European missions but the revelation that Georgia had a FSB spy as its Prosecutor-General (referring to Otar Partskhaladze), and the fact that state institutions are not conducting an investigation into this matter. The President demanded such an investigation to be launched.

Zurabishvili also argued that cultural integration into the EU is just as important as the political one. She called on the Georgian participants of Europalia, an international arts festival celebrating the cultural heritage of different countries, to follow the theme ”Georgia is Europe” and by doing so, contribute to the realization of the country’s European aspiration.

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


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