NATO Secretary-General expresses concern over arrests of former senior officials in Georgia
Georgia, Tbilisi, June 27 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has expressed a "serious concern" over the arrests of former senior government officials by the representatives of the new government of Georgia. He said this at a joint news conference with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi on Thursday.
"We stressed that there are certain questions with regards to this issue, and it is impossible that there is the slightest hint of political motivation during the sentencing in court," he said.
According to Rasmussen, the top leaders of the Georgian government have promised him full transparency with regards to both the investigative process and judicial proceedings.
"They convinced me that, the rule of law will be provided in these cases," he noted.
Mikheil Saakashvili said that along with "serious concern" of the NATO Secretary General, there are certain statements made by the EU foreign ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg last week, which transferred Georgia "from the category of excellent student to the category of failing ones".
"The ministers have said that Georgia, which was previously only praised, began to back away from the democratic process, thus, causing a serious concern. This is a serious warning," he said.
Saakashvili expressed his outrage that on Thursday morning, the financial police arranged "the hunt" against activists of his United National Movement Party (employees of Tbilisi City Hall), arresting them, handcuffing, interrogating, and then letting them go after naming them as witnesses. "These actions do not fit in any democratic boundaries," he stressed.
Saakashvili called on the government and all the parties to jointly solve the problems concerning foreign policy orientation. "We must all ensure our progress in NATO, and for this we need a broad dialogue," he said.