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Saturday, June 15, 2024

USA Assistant Secretary of State calls foreign law inconsistent with EU, and NATO values

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Jim O’Brien, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State  reiterated that the controversial foreign agent law is totally inconsistent with the democratic values . He said Georgia aspires to be a member of the European Union and NATO, but if the law is not withdrawn it may backfire on Georgia’s efforts to join the EU.

 

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Just  a day ago, the U.S. took a firm stance by proposing stringent visa regulations against Georgian lawmakers over foreign law controversy.

Responding to  a question he underlined that The passage of a law will stigmatize the very groups that help Georgia prepare for its European and transatlantic aspirations. Ambassador O’Brien touched upon the GD accusation that Western countries are forcing Georgia to withdraw the bill without any logic. He said the leadership of the Georgian government is trying to change what is needed to join European and transatlantic organizations.

Commenting on whether U.S. decisions (visa restrictions and initiated bills in Congress)  are illegal, he stated that when anyone decides to join a club, he doesn’t make his own rules.  The point is that the actions being taken by the Georgian government are incompatible with both the pursuit of membership and actually getting to membership.

 

On the visa restriction, he said the USA would not publish a list of names as we are not authorized to do so under the law. The country has made clear the sorts of acts that are of particular concern to us. He also added that any undemocratic action will  undermine democratic processes, in particular, the use of violence and intimidation against those who come to protest the law

The imposition of visa restrictions is not a coercive tactic, but a clear message that the U.S. stands firmly against any law that could potentially threaten freedom of speech or expression anywhere in the world. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State once again urged the Georgian Dream-led government to withdraw the law, emphasizing the importance of a smooth European integration process for the Georgian people.

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