The US Embassy in Georgia has responded to the arrest of the United National Movement leader Nika Melia and a special operation which stormed the UNM office this morning and stated that 'Georgia has moved backward on its path toward becoming a stronger democracy in the Euro-Atlantic family of nations'.
The statement published by the embassy reads that ‘we regret that the call of the United States and other international partners for restraint and dialogue was ignored’.
We are dismayed by the polarising rhetoric from Georgia’s leadership at a time of crisis. Force and aggression are not the solution to resolving Georgia’s political differences. Today, Georgia has moved backward on its path toward becoming a stronger democracy in the Euro-Atlantic family of nations", reads the statement.
Melia was arrested by police earlier today for refusal to post bail shortly after the parliament approved Irakli Garibashvili prime minister and his cabinet late yesterday.
Melia was arrested in his office in the UNM headquarters in Tbilisi by special unit servicemen, which used tear gas in the room where Melia was gathered with his supporters, however before starting the special operation they evacuated the UNM office, where party leaders and opposition parties' representatives had been protecting Melia for several days.