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Georgia will not "consult" with ambassador whom Kyiv asked to leave over Saakashvili

Friday, 7 July 2023, 00:40
Georgia will not consult with ambassador whom Kyiv asked to leave over Saakashvili

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia does not intend to hold consultations with Giorgi Zakarashvili, the Georgian ambassador to Ukraine who was asked by Kyiv to return to Tbilisi in connection with the situation with former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.

Source: Ilia Darchiashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, in an interview with Imedi, a Georgian TV channel

Darchiashvili stressed that the Georgian embassy in Kyiv has continued its work since the ambassador's return to Tbilisi, saying that "diplomats are in place, and we will continue to work in this area".

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Quote: "Giorgi Zakarashvili is a person who, together with several ambassadors, did not leave Kyiv even for a day in the most difficult moments, and this decision [his departure – ed.] is unfair to him, and not even a normal way to behave," he said.

The Georgian foreign minister emphasised that consultations with the ambassador, as Kyiv indicated, will not be held, and said the whole situation, in his opinion, cannot be connected with Saakashvili because even the European Court of Human Rights has no claims against the authorities.

Background:

  • After Saakashvili’s most recent court appearance, in which he looked extremely emaciated, Ukraine summoned the Georgian ambassador and asked him to return to Tbilisi "for consultations". 
  • Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, was outraged by Zelenskyy's reaction, but at the same time, he stressed that Tbilisi wants to "remain friendly" with the Ukrainian authorities.
  • Saakashvili has been in custody ever since his secret return to Georgia ahead of the 2021 local elections, and recently his health has significantly deteriorated.

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