Polish, Georgian Presidents discuss cooperation, regional security, COVID-19

President Andrzej Duda had a video call on Tuesday with the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, during which both officials discussed the internal situation in Georgia, regional security, bilateral cooperation, especially as part of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic road and the COVID-19 pandemic, Krzysztof Szczerski, a presidential aide told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Poland calls for refraining from tensions escalation in Georgia

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“Poland supports actions for dialogue and understanding between the rulers and the opposition in order to restore the stable operation of democratic institutions in Georgia. We expect that ongoing talks will meet the expectations of all sides of the political scene,” Mr Szczerski emphasised.

“The Georgian president also presented plans to bring the country closer to membership of NATO and the EU, including the need for European support for infrastructure investments. Poland is an advocate of Georgia's integration with Western world organisations,” the presidential aide said.

He also announced that Ms Zourabichvili had invited President Duda to pay a visit to Tbilisi shortly. The leaders also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, including the issues surrounding organising vaccinations against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Political crisis in Georgia

Last week, Nikanor Melia, the leader of the opposition United National Movement party and his supporters were detained after the Ministry of Internal Affairs forces raided their headquarters. Protests against the ruling party’s (Georgian Dream) autumn parliamentary elections have been taking place. The opposition considers these elections to be rigged and demands that early elections be held.

After Mr Melia’s detention, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gacharia resigned, stating that the arrest of an opposition politician could exacerbate the political conflict. Diplomatic representatives of the US, the EU, NATO, the UK and other countries expressed concern and called for dialogue and an end to violence.

On Monday, the head of the European Council Charles Michel met with a representation from all local political forces under the patronage of the Georgian president in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.