Swedish Speaker Says Georgia Politics ‘Polarized’ as He Meets His Counterpart Talakvadze

The Swedish parliamentary delegation, led by Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlén, is visiting Georgia on August 28-29. Today, he met with his Georgian counterpart, Archil Talakvadze, discussing the cooperation between two countries.

At a news briefing following their meeting, Speaker Norlén said the Swedish delegation, which travels together “once every four year parliamentary term,” chose to visit Georgia, and Armenia a week earlier in order “to demonstrate Sweden’s strong support for democracy, rule of law, human rights and all other things we associate with democracy.”

The Swedish Speaker said “this is a somewhat troubled part of the world,” and that they see the Georgian democracy and now the democratic development in Armenia “as beacons of light.” “We really want to reaffirm the Swedish support for the Georgian democratic institutions, the democratically elected parliament and the democratic culture of this country,” Speaker Norlén added.

Sweden concerned with “polarized nature” of the Georgian politics

According to the Swedish Parliament Speaker, “it is important for democracies to stick together but it is also important to stick together in a democracy, especially if you face external threats of various kinds.” Norlén said “people representing other parties are not enemies, they are colleagues,” adding that everyone has to work with respect and have a dialogue.

“I think it is so important that you can reach out across party lines when it is in the national interests, and that you can reach out across party lines as a sign of respect for your fellow members of parliament, who are as you elected of the Swedish people,” he added.

Speaker Norlén then noted that the fact of him traveling with the delegation “representing entire political spectrum of the Swedish parliament, is a good illustration” that the parties are “political opponents on ideological grounds, but they can also work together, both in critical situations for the nation, and in the day-to-day life of parliament.”

The Swedish parliamentary delegation met with Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani as well today. As part of the visit to Georgia, they joined the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) patrol “to observe security dynamics” at the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL). 

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