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PM responds to his party member’s claims over Georgia’s foreign course

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, May 11
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says one of the members of his own party, Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia (GDDG), made statements that contradict the ruling party's policy.

Last week one of the members of GDDG, Tamaz Metchiauri, who also chairs parliamentary committee for budget and finances, said the Noble Partner military exercise in Georgia (which will see US and British troops training with the Georgian Army) would irritate Russia.

Speaking about the drills planned for May 11-26, Metchiauri said they could create serious threats to Georgia’s security and also suggested that some political groups are trying to use such drills for their political intentions to prove the necessity of their presence in the Georgian politics; his statements allude to Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli of the Republican Party,.

Metchiauri also said it was unlikely that Georgia will become a NATO member state.

The opposition immediately assessed the statement as anti-Georgian and serving Russia’s interests.

The Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Paata Zakareishvili, who is also the member of the Republican Party, said he was surprised by the silence of other representatives of the GDDG over Metchiauri’s statements.

Kvirikashvili said yesterday that the statement by Mechiauri was not in line with the course adopted by the ruling Georgian Dream coalition.

"I do have to note with great regret that Mr. Mechiauri's statement completely contradicts the course of the Georgian Dream and the Government of Georgia.

“Mr. Mechiauri's statements do not reflect the views of the Government and the foreign policy priorities of the Georgian Dream party,” the Prime Minister claimed.

He dubbed the remarks as being 'biased' and 'unacceptable'.

"I am really surprised by the wording chosen by Zakareishvili, because I consider his statement to be totally biased. The Georgian government and MPs made several statements showing that we have very clear foreign policy priorities and these priorities have been confirmed on numerous occasions at international and domestic levels. As for the fact that a member of the government expresses his dissatisfaction due to alleged parliamentary silence, it is his decision. If he has dissenting opinions, he may take a relevant decision. I think that unfounded criticism of the ruling party by the member of the government is very surprising and unacceptable. My feelings were hurt by this statement, hence I could not refrain from making such a lengthy comment," the Prime Minister noted.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party said Metchiauri must no longer be in the rows in the ruling power. For his part, Metchiauri responded that he would quit the party when the Republican Ministers leave their posts.