UNM parliamentary minority group welcomed a statement by PM Ivanishvili that government was aiming at receiving NATO membership action plan (MAP) at the next summit of the Alliance in 2014.
“Receiving MAP would really be a step forward and we fully share and support what the Prime Minister has stated,” UNM MP Giorgi Gabashvili said on May 1. “The country should do everything possible both in internal and foreign policy… in order to get membership action plan in 2014.”
He also said that PM’s remarks about Lopota gorge clash, suggesting that previous government was possibly supporting militant groups with links to Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus, as well as remarks on August 2008 war, accusing the previous government of launching military actions, were “very alarming, which are in conflict with Georgia’s national interests.”
MP Gabashvili, however, also added that PM’s remarks on MAP should be welcomed. “Let’s consider these [remarks] as a starting point and let’s consider all those mistakes, which you have done so far, as simply mistakes,” he said.
Giga Bokeria, President Saakashvili’s national security adviser and Secretary of National Security Council, also welcomed PM’s remarks.
“I welcome the statement of the Prime Minister about what our target for next NATO summit should be – MAP; that's the issue over which the political spectrum should be united,” Bokeria said in an interview with Rustavi 2 TV on April 30.
He said notion that Georgia would ease its NATO integration after improving ties with Russia was wrong and the government should first focus on NATO integration. Bokeria said that focusing on this latter at first would then also help Georgia “to, as the government puts it, mend ties with Russia.”
In the same interview Bokeria slammed PM Ivanishvili’s remarks on Lopota gorge clash as “irresponsible” and “damaging” to Georgia’s security interests. He said PM’s suggestion that the previous government was possibly “cooperating with terrorists” was “weakening” Georgia’s position vis-à-vis Russia and the PM should not have said anything about the issue at least before the end of ongoing investigation. He also said that such suggestions and allegations about the previous government aiding militant groups were false and would never be proven as they were not based on facts.