Philip H. Gordon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said that democratic Georgia would be good for Tbilisi’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
“One of the other messages I wanted to bring to Georgia, beyond demonstrating our interest and support to Georgia, is our interests in seeing a democratic Georgia. That would be good for Georgia and good for Georgia’s aspiration to join Euro-Atlantic institutions,” he said at a joint news conference with Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, in Tbilisi on June 10.
“We appreciate the fact that there had been political protest in a tense political environment; we also appreciate the way the government has shown restraint in dealing with those protests and we encourage the Georgian government to pursue democracy and free media, free press, free speech, anti-corruption – these are principles the United States always stands by and more Georgia can be a flourishing democracy the more likely it is to be the western partner that we value and we want to work so close with,” Gordon added.
He made the remarks after he was asked to comment on internal political situation in Georgia. A young Georgian journalist used the term “political crisis” once while asking this question. After the U.S. diplomat finished his comments, Foreign Minister Vashadze also responded, referring directly to the journalist: “I would not advise you to use this term ‘political crisis’ so often, because you have not seen what the political crisis is because of your [young] age. What is now happening in Georgia it is not a political crisis, it is a political process.”
Speaking at a government session on June 10, President Saakashvili, who met with Gordon later on June 10, has also strongly rejected notion of having a political crisis in Georgia.
“There is no political crisis in Georgia,” he said in a live televised meeting with cabinet members.
“What are the signs of political crisis? It is when the government is disintegrated, like it was during Shevardnadze’s [presidency], when the government was like a circus with its members quarreling with each other and incapable to take decisions. Nothing like this is now happening; the government is consolidated. This sign of political crisis is absent,” Saakashvili said.
“The second sign is of political crisis is when the economy totally collapses with the government failing to distribute pensions and salaries. We do not have that sign either,” he added.