President Zurabishvili: national reconciliation initiative complicated to carry out, but process is transparent

President Salome Zurabishvili says that Georgia needs to end political polarization to move forward. Photo: president’s press office., 21 Dec 2021 - 11:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili says that her recent initiative, which aims to reconcile various political parties in Georgia to end polarization, is complicated to carry out but the process is ‘very transparent.’ 

She stated that various rumors have been spread regarding the initiative over the past several days ‘which is not sourced from the presidential administration.’ 

Zurabishvili says that at the initial stage, she is ‘listening to every interested party,’ and holding meetings. 

Not only political parties, but also the public and NGOs working on victims’ topics (those who allegedly suffered losses or were victims of inhumane treatment under the previous state leadership) are also involved in the process,” Zurabishvili said. 

She stated that she has already met with Patriarch Ilia II, fourth president Giorgi Margvelashvili and members of various political parties over her initiative. 

Zurabishvili initiated an ‘inclusive process and a national conversation involving all of society’ in order to ‘achieve a shared understanding of recent history, to help heal divisions and move forward’ on December 10 at the Summit for Democracy organized by US President Joe Biden. 

Imprisoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who earlier said that ‘reconciliation is in everyone’s interests,’ has immediately responded to the initiative and said that the process should have been launched by Zurabishvili’s meeting with him and Margvelashvili in Gori military hospital, where Saakashvili is now. 

The Georgian Dream ruling party, however, says that the reconciliation is possible ‘if Saakashvili and his United National Movement party admit to all grave crimes they committed while in office and then leave politics.’