President’s Office says Zourabichvili criticised Putin but not Xi Jinping in TV interview

The Georgian President’s Office on Tuesday made explanations on the President's latest comments in her interview with France’s LCI TV channel. Photo: President’s press office, 14 Nov 2023 - 15:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian President’s Office on Tuesday rejected allegations that Salome Zourabichvili had made a mention of the Chinese President Xi Jinping “in a negative context” in her interview with France’s LCI TV channel last week, claiming the President had limited her criticism to her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. 

The statement follows a fallout from the interview, where Zourabichvili has been cited to have said seeing the leaders of the two states put on trial would be a “historic result”, and would “resolve certain matters”.

In the comment rejecting the reports, the Office said Zourabichvili’s answer had made “no reference to Georgia-China relations or specifically the Chinese President”.

The body also said its Head Natia Sulava had made the explanation to Zhou Qian, the Chinese Ambassador to Georgia, in a meeting on Tuesday, and told the diplomat the interview had only concerned Georgia’s relations with the European Union and Russia.

Officials from the ruling Georgian Dream party on Tuesday slammed the President for the interview and claimed Zourabichvili was “trying to harm the country’s interests” before the expiration of her official term in office next year. 

Georgia and China established a strategic partnership in July, during Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s visit to the country.