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Georgian PM says US Team to Evaluate Georgia’s Security Measures

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 22
(KUTAISI, Georgia) -- Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Friday announced the arrival of a special security team from the United States tasked with evaluating Georgia’s ability to protect itself from outside threats.

The American taskforce will carry out a nationwide assessment of Georgia’s existing security measures and its ability to respond to threats from terrorists, organized crime and hostile incursions from foreign security services.

The announcement came after Georgia’s opposition political parties accused the ruling Georgian Dream party of failing to prevent the kidnapping of an Azeri investigative journalist earlier this year

In May, Afghan Mukhtarli was abducted in broad daylight from Tbilisi’s city center by Azerbaijan’s security services. He later emerged in detention in Baku amid a hail of criticism aimed at the Georgian Dream for failing to thwart Mukhtarli’s kidnapping.

A number of critics went as far as to accuse the government of colluding with the DTX – Azerbaijan’s intelligence services.

Kvirikashvili has repeatedly claimed that his government had no prior knowledge of Mukhtarli’s abduction and had no contact with Azeri officials about his detention or extradition to Baku.

Mukhtari has been officially charged with crossing the Georgian border illegally, though he was not in possession of his own passport at the time he was forcibly whisked away to Azerbaijan.