President Salome Zurabishvili says that the opposition is required to show more awareness, and the government is required to at least “warn in advance” on certain issues. In this context, Zurabishvili says that the application for EU membership in 2024 has not been discussed not only with the opposition but not even with the President herself, she said at the extraordinary sitting of Parliament.
“Georgians of the 1918 political emigration also had different political and party views. But the goals were so clear that they united everyone. Independence and Europeanness – these are the goals that drove me back here and are driving me now. It is unacceptable when in a country where de-occupation, EU and NATO membership is supported by the absolute majority of the population – some political power seeks to gain a monopoly on being pro-Western and call all others pro-Russians, questioning our unanimity on occupation and strategic orientations and in this manner justify its ambitions.
“I cannot imagine that from a country that is fighting the occupation, whose reliable partners are Europe and the United States, its citizens, exactly in these countries, are campaigning against Georgia’s interests, discrediting them and lobbying even for sanctions. One might think that this weakens a political competitor and strengthens another’s political ambitions. But those who know Europe and the United States are well aware that this is not the case and what suffers is the country, its prospects, its current support in the fight against the occupation, for economic empowerment, and real Euro-Atlantic integration.
“Therefore, the opposition must show more awareness. It must give up the standing of “After me, the Flood”. But no less is needed from the government, which needs to understand that in some cases, if not reaching a complete agreement, there should at least be a prior warning and attempts to reach consensus.
“For example, I will cite the topic of announcing our candidacy to European Union membership in 2024, which, was not even discussed with the President of the country, let alone the opposition. If we do not create a future together, we will not be able to overcome the occupation or to reach Euro-Atlantic integration.
“I will no longer emphasize that the occupation is the most painful topic, and therefore absurd accusations should not be made against each other on this: “they are doing nothing” or “the Enguri Bridge has been closed” – especially when we know very well who closed the Enguri Bridge and who is responsible. We need to pay more attention and be more careful about all possible manipulations which may come from outside the country. If we had been careful, we would not have accepted the tensions caused by Pozner’s visit, nor would we have allowed Gavrilov into the seat of the Chair of Parliament.
“Resolving the most pressing issues requires the participation of political parties in this process and the establishment of their positions. This is necessary to solve the future priorities of the country – not with populism and short-term political slogans, but with reconciled positions and reasonable compromises. Such an approach demonstrates responsible political leadership toward the country,” she pointed out.
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