British Embassy’s Statement on Tbilisi Causes Negative Reactions

The British Embassy in Tbilisi released a statement a few days ago, which gives recommendations to British nationals ahead of the Georgia-Wales 2018 FIFA World Cup European qualifier match scheduled for 6 October 2017 at Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi.

The statement reads that crime levels in Tbilisi are generally low, but muggings do occur from time to time after dark in the center of the city, particularly around bars and clubs and near dimly lit entrances of private apartments.

“There have been some reports of sexual assaults by taxi drivers after dark,” the statement reads.

It also says that there are no public toilets in the city and that tourists may have to buy something to use the facilities of the cafes and bars.

“Be vigilant at all times when crossing roads; red traffic lights and zebra crossings don’t necessarily mean a car will stop,” the embassy addressed British citizens.

“Be mindful of your actions and how they may be interpreted by people of other cultures or religious beliefs.” the statement added.

The recommendations were followed by a negative reaction among Georgian citizens and some officials.

Tbilisi Mayor, Davit Narmania stated that Tbilisi is a safe and friendly city and tourists are never in danger there.

“As for toilets, during concerts and matches, bio toilets are always placed in the streets,” the mayor added.

On September 28, the embassy released another statement, which gives additional explanations to the first statement.

The second statement reads that travel advice is a set of recommendations and practical advice offered to British nationals travelling to other countries, adding its purpose is to help British nationals stay safe and secure and to respect local laws and cultures.

“In this particular instance, we issued practical advice to travellers attending the football match between Wales and Georgia on 6 October. The advice clearly states that crime levels in Tbilisi are generally low,” the Embassy said.

The second statement also underlines that Tbilisi has successfully hosted various international sporting events in the past.

“We have every expectation that the upcoming match will be a success. We look forward to welcoming the Welsh fans to Tbilisi,” the British embassy said.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: National Geographic


29 September 2017 15:49