At today’s extraordinary session of Parliament, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili discussed the recent EU-mediated talks between the government and the opposition, led by Christian Danielsson, the personal envoy of European Council President Charles Michel, which, sadly, ended without reaching an agreement.
“I am sorry that we have not been able to reach an agreement so far. Both sides had to make concessions, as the EU representative suggested. Unfortunately, neither side had the courage to compromise,” she stated.
“To be honest, I bore the hope that on this day, the 9th of April, we would have been able to lay yet a new brick on our path to the future; that we would have been able to see common interests and separate what is the main from the secondary for our country; that we would have been able to not confuse partisan from national politics and to see where on what lays our road ahead.
“If Georgia’s only wish is to return to the European family and build a European state, and that is the case, we should not have missed the great opportunity we were given.
“An unprecedented thing has happened to prove how important Georgia is for Europe and how close it has already become. We received the greatest help we could have imagined from the European Union, which I think we do not appreciate enough – not only financial and material, but also political and moral help through the personal involvement of a high-ranking EU official to overcome polarization and political controversy and return the processes of the street to Parliament.
“Georgia does not remember such a gesture if not during the war.
“It pains me to see that we could not meet this opportunity and reach an agreement.
“Both sides should have moved toward compromise, as the EU representative was telling us to. Unfortunately, neither side had enough courage and, I’d say, bravery for compromise.
“The government did not have the courage to put the stability and democratic progress of the country and the active partnership with Europe above individual “details”. The opposition did not have the courage to free itself from external blackmail and pressure, to choose its own political path by returning to a multi-party parliament, which would have opened up unprecedented opportunities for serious opposition activists who want a real political career. Both sides probably think that they came out the winner of this process – they pat themselves on the back for not “giving up” principles… However, there are two types of principles: those used to justify one’s actions, and those showing us the correct path.
“A pragmatic and balanced compromise was offered and is still offered by the proposed text, which I fully support. I want to call on all parties to come to a solution with no alternative for the country.
“I believe that we will come to think and realize that our common future is at stake, that no one will fail or win, that zero-sum games are over in Georgia and we have only one way left – that of agreement, consent, and progress,” the President concluded.