Prime Minister’s Comment on the Special Operation in Pankisi

Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, has spoken out about the recent anti-terrorism operation in Pankisi, a region of Georgia well-known for having produced a number of radical Muslims, though many citizens live out their daily lives there in peace.

“I would like to comment on a very important issue to our country and our State: terrorism, a challenge facing the whole world. Our State, too, is doing everything to avert this threat. Of course, when you are tackling this challenge in your own country, especially when it involves your citizens, it is very sensitive and calls for caution.

Our special forces have conducted a series of special operations, each aiming to preempt terrorist threats. These operations claimed the life of one of our special forces officers and four were wounded. These young men risked their lives in protecting our citizens’ safety.

“I would like to state that, first of all, it serves the interests of the authorities that the objective and effective investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office answers every question existing in our society as quickly as possible. This is why, at this point, given the circumstances, making preliminary statements or conclusions is damaging to the State’s interests.

“Unfortunately, the life of Temirlan Machalikashvili, who was wounded during the special operation, could not be saved, though the State and doctors did everything in their power to save him. And no matter the outcome of the investigation, I extend my condolences to his family.

“I also offer my respect to our Kist fellow compatriots who, through the centuries, have repeatedly exhibited their attitude confirming their loyalty to Georgia and its interests. Their resolve has never been doubted, and I assure you it is impossible to undermine it.

“Our society understands well that the State is responsible for the safety of its citizens, and our special services will spare no effort to fulfil this paramount duty.”

11 January 2018 19:00