PM rebukes President's statement on Chinese leader in meeting with Ambassador

Garibashvili also claimed the President had put the international image of Georgia “in an embarrassing position”. Photo: Government Administration, 13 Nov 2023 - 15:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday told Zhou Qian, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia, that comments by the Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, who on Saturday said seeing the Russian and Chinese leaders put on trial would be a “historic outcome”, were “categorically unacceptable and disturbing”.

Zourabichvili told France’s LCI channel the prospect of the leaders of the two countries facing court would “clarify certain matters”.

In his meeting with Qian, Garibashvili said he hoped Zourabichvili’s statement would not “affect or damage” the “extremely positive historical dynamics” of the relations between the two countries, the Government Administration said.

The PM stressed the President’s “rhetoric contradicts the attitude of the Georgian Government and the Georgian citizens towards China and does not correspond to the spirit of friendly, strategic partnership between the two countries, and it harms the existing friendly and partnership relations between the two countries”.


The Government head also highlighted Georgia’s status as a parliamentary republic where the President “does not implement the country's foreign policy”, and noted the task was the “exclusive authority” of the Government. He further added the President’s remarks did “not even formally express the attitude of the Georgian Government towards the Chinese state and its leader”.

The PM added it was “not the first time” Zourabichvili, “in violation of the Constitution and to the detriment of state interests”, was “carrying out separate activities” and “making her own assessments on international matters that are not in line with the position of the country's Government”.

Garibashvili also claimed the President had put the international image of Georgia “in an embarrassing position”.

In their meeting, the officials noted the “friendly and strategic” partnership between their countries and discussed the “current agenda” of bilateral relations, the Administration said.

The meeting highlighted the intensification of cooperation “in various fields”, with the officials expressing their hope the recently established format of strategic relations would contribute to a further development of sectoral, economic and trade relations, as well as people-to-people ties.

The meeting also emphasised the “successful” cooperation of the two countries in development of Georgia's special geopolitical location that “increases the country's potential as a West-East connecting corridor”.

The sides highlighted the “historical importance” of the visit made by Garibashvili to China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and its “greatest role” in strengthening the ties between Georgia and China “at the strategic level”.

The Georgian Prime Minister “highly praised” the “special role” of the Chinese President, his “vision” and “achievements of effective governance” in China's transformation and development, as well as the “various large-scale reforms” planned by the Chinese Government.