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Georgian president says building of US military base in Georgia not recommended

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 2
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has stated that the construction of the US military base in Georgia is not recommended as it will irritate Russia and will also become the target of terrorists.

The opposition has called the statement harmful and demanded explanations from the government.

"I do not think this [constriction of the base] is recommended. I think the country [Georgia] needs to strengthen its self-defence capabilities. There is no need to take steps that can be perceived as provocative, and I do not think that the United States is ready to have a military base here, which will draw the attention of not only Russia but also of terrorists who are very active in our region.

“Based on the existing mutual understanding, we should strengthen our cooperation and should not take such steps that can stir a provocation,” Zurabishvili told the Georgian bureau of the Voice of America.

A member of the United National Movement parliamentary opposition Roman Gotsiridze says that the Georgian Foreign Ministry must say whether the view belongs only to the president or the government also shares the position.

“Based on the new constitution of Georgia [which came into play last year] the Georgian president has no right to direct the country’s foreign policy. The president does not even have the right to issue a legislative act without the approval of the prime minister,” Gotsiridze said.

Vice Parliament Speaker of Georgia Tamar Chugoshvili says that building of the US military bases in Georgia is not on the agenda and she expressed her surprise why the issue was raised at all.