UPDATE: EU mediator Danielsson holds follow-up meetings with Georgian political parties

  • EU mediator Christian Danielsson, who arrived in Georgia on Friday, held meetings with Georgian ruling party and opposition today and yesterday. Photo: EU Delegation to Georgia/Twitter

Agenda.ge, 14 Mar 2021 - 22:25, Tbilisi,Georgia

Updated at 22:25

Christian Danielsson, who is visiting Georgia to lead the EU-backed mediation effort in Georgia, has held follow-up meetings with the ruling Georgian Dream party and opposition amid the current political tension.

Danielsson said after today's meetings with the political parties that 'we knew from the beginning that this what we are doing here is difficult'. However, he said 'we have been working hard and we have seen progress'. 

It's clear that we need some more time. So. I've decided to stay on in Tbilisi for tomorrow as well and continue the discussions in order to try help the parties to find the way forward, because we should be clear on one thing here: this is for the parties to find the way forward and what I'm doing is try to help them for doing that", Danielsson said at the press conference. 

The EU Delegation of Georgia has shared the entire press conference on Facebook and Twitter:

Noting that they will work' until the parties find a way forward' the EU mediator hopes they will be able to make progress tomorrow.

Earlier at 21:06

Danielsson held his introductory meeting with the Georgian political parties in Tbilisi yesterday. Today he met with the ruling Georgian Dream party members twice.

Although the Georgian Dream chair Irakli Kobakhidze did not speak about the meeting in details, he said the success of the negotiations depends on the political parties and that the ruling party ‘will spare no efforts for the successful completion of the dialogue’.  

We will follow the principle of justice and we will naturally sign what we consider fair”, Kobakhidze told journalists earlier today.

He however stated after the second meeting with Danielsson that the negotiations will resume after the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili returns from the EU-Georgia association council in Brussels, scheduled on March 16.

Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze, who also believes that ‘an agreement around the fair principles’ is possible, said the ruling party 'would like to reach a long-term agreement' ensuring further political cooperation.

Today the EU mediator also met with opposition parties including the United National Movement/Strength in Unity block, European Georgia, Lelo, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Girchi - More Freedom and Girchi.

UNM member Akaki Minashvili who also attended the follow-up meeting spoke of the importance of restoring public trust in state institutions. Therefore, he said, the ruling party should ensure that the new elections be held ‘in normal circumstances’. 

Noting that opposition demands holding snap elections and release of political prisoners, Minashvili said UNM chair Nika Melia, who was recently detained, should be among the negotiators. 

Republican party member Khatuna Samnidze called today’s meeting ‘productive’ as the parties spoke about the issues in detail.

To agree means to make a compromise [from both parties]... Therefore, I hope that the ruling party as well as we can work together to ensure the stable development of our country. This compromise will be reciprocal”, Samnidze said. 

Another UNM member Salome Samadashvili also stated that ‘we, the democratic opposition of Georgia, want the negotiations to end with the result that our people are expecting and which is necessary for our state and its stable development’.

The dialogue between the ruling party and the opposition resumed during the recent visit of the European Council President Charles Michel to Georgia on March 1. 

Michel has mandated Danielsson to lead a EU-backed mediation effort in Georgia to help the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition come to an agreement amid the current political deadlock. 

Danielsson, who arrived in Georgia on Friday, has also met with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and President Salome Zurabishvili.