Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland during his visit to Strasbourg on December 18.
Council of Europe supports cohabitation
By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, December 20
Jagland welcomed the “democratic and fair” parliamentary elections in Georgia and spoke of the necessity of cohabitation as a very important process for Georgia on is path to integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.
He said the council will continue working with the new government and assist the new political situation in Georgia. “We are watching carefully what is going on,” he said, stressing that the Council of Europe will offer their expertise in various processes.
Secretary General said it is important to ensure a peaceful transformation to the new government. “And it is therefore equally important that any changes and any reforms be done in cooperation with all political forces and all political tendencies and of course, with the society in the country, so that we all can move forward on the united platform,” Jagland said, stressing that the constitution and all the other laws are important platforms for all political forces to compete on equal footing and see that there are inclusive political processes.
According to President Saakashvili, Georgia needs “to have a normal European process” and consider European norms. “We are part of Europe, we want to be part of the European Union, we want to be part of the Euro Atlantic institution,” Saakashvili told Jagland, stressing that it is the Georgians that have chosen to be the part of the European family.
Saakashvili plans to address the assembly in January. However, he welcomed “this conversational exchange” with the Secretary General as an advice, which “ultimately contributes to a better democracy and framework.”
Addressing the delegates of Strasbourg self-government a day earlier, Saakashvili spoke of Strasbourg as a city where he “touched the European dream” that shaped his entire political life.
He said Georgia would have never left the family of democratic and free nations of Europe without the Soviet occupation. He said every reform implemented by his team aimed at “transforming the authoritarian post-Soviet Republic into a dynamic European type of open state.”
According to the Georgian President, despite the political orientation of the Parliamentary majority, nothing can resist European enthusiasm of our nation and its desire and aspiration to join Europe.