GEO ambassador to US: Turner came under influence from Georgia

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Photo: Bill Koplitz / FEMA Photo Library

Manipulating with a statement released by a relevant committee of the US Congress is dangerous for Georgia, Georgia's Ambassador to the United States, Archil Gegeshidze, said on 15 June, when commenting on the United State's revising defense cooperation with Georgia, Statement of Congress on Defense Cooperation with Georgia.

"Considering the challenges faced by Georgia, manipulating with these issues is very dangerous for Georgia. A week ago, Congressman [Michael] Turner supported a very favorable provision on deepening the defense cooperation with Georgia. In a week's time he has starkly changed his position and initiated this statement; that makes us assume that he came under influence from Georgia. Given the spirit of the statement, you can draw conclusions yourself who could be behind that," Georgia's ambassador to the US told Rustavi 2 TV channel.

When speaking on this topic to Imedi TV channel, Archil Gegeshidze, said that "within a span of just one week, Mr. Turner abruptly changed his position and replaced the provision with this very unbalanced and rigid stance."

The US Congress may revise the document on defense cooperation with Georgia. The text of revision has already been considered in relevant committees.

Expressing serious concern about persecution of political opponents by the Georgian government, the US Congress clearly indicates that the measures taken against opponents appear politically motivated: "the measures taken by the Georgian Government against former officials and political opponents, apparently in part motivated by political considerations, may have a significant negative impact on cooperation between the United States and Georgia, including efforts to build a stronger relationship in political, economic, and security matters, as well as progress on integrating Georgia into international organizations."

The text of revision notes the arrest of the Secretary General of the United National Movement, Vano Merabishvili, saying that "the arrest of the leader of an opposition party is especially troubling, particularly its chilling effect on political freedom prior to the presidential election scheduled for October 2013."

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