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Appathurai: Georgian President-Elect has Strong Positions towards Russia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 14
Deputy Assistant Secretary General of NATO for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai says that the Georgian President-elect Salome Zurabishvili has strong positions regarding Russia, ‘there is no uncertainty, and I am glad that I am m returning to Brussels with this message.’

“I am very pleased to meet with Salome Zurabishvili. It was a very important meeting. I want to emphasize that the president-elect was well prepared. It concerned issues related to security, politics and NATO-Georgia plans.

“Zurabishvili has already started working on these issues. During the meeting, I heard from her very clear messages about the Euro-Atlantic aspiration. President-elect says that Georgia will continue the necessary reforms. Zurabishvili says that she will do her utmost in order to implement the will of the Georgian people,” Appathurai told the Georgian Public Broadcaster.

Appathurai says that Zurabishvili “has no illusions with regard to Russia’s actions either in Georgia or in the region”.

“She has a very clear and solid position. There is no uncertainty and I am glad that I am returning to Brussels with this message,” he stated.

While in Georgia on Thursday Appathurai also met with the election runner-up Grigol Vashadze, who says that the opposition will protest the 28 November election results on the inauguration day in Telavi on 16 December.

Appathurai says that elections mostly divides people and parties. However, after the elections, the parties should respect one another and act in unity based on the state interests.

Appathurai vowed more NATO in Georgia next year and stated that many high-level visits will take place in Georgia from NATO in 2019.