Germany, France Encourage Georgia Continue Democratic Reforms

In a joint statement on Georgia released on December 12, German and French Foreign Ministries stated that “building strong institutions is the bedrock of a strong democracy – as is a functioning democratic pluralism.”

The statement comes as the new Georgian Parliament opened yesterday with only ruling Georgian Dream party MPs in attendance, as all of the opposition parties are rejecting October 31 parliamentary election results and refusing to enter the legislative body.

Citing ODIHR and local election watchdogs over “some shortcomings in the electoral process,” the statement noted that “it appears that all political forces in Georgia agree that further electoral and judicial reforms should remain high on the political agenda.”

“For such a debate, parliament is the right forum, as a parliamentary process would strengthen the outcome and the process alike – and ultimately the trust in public institutions in Georgia,” German and French Foreign Ministries noted.

“France and Germany stand ready as partners for the democratic path, which Georgia has chosen,” the statement underlined, adding that “while Georgia faces an array of regional challenges, it remains all the more important that the country stands united.”

The Ministries also underscored their support for EU and U.S. Ambassadors facilitating post-election talks in Georgia between the Georgian Dream and opposition parties.

“Their assistance to all political parties in Georgia has been offered with a view to help achieve a positive reform to strengthen Georgia’s democratic institutions,” the statement highlighted.

The statement further touched upon the recently adopted program between Moscow and occupied Abkhazia on common socio-economic space, and noted that “we reiterate our strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.” “We recall the necessity that all parties concerned, including Russia, fully implement the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement and reach tangible results in the Geneva International Discussions,” German and French Foreign Ministries concluded.

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