Georgian President, Foreign Diplomats Meet Pankisi Locals

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, accompanied by United State and EU ambassadors to Georgia visited Pankisi Gorge, located at the very eastern end of the Kakheti region, on the border between Georgia and Russia, on January 30th.

The President, foreign diplomats and locals in Duisi village, apart from social problems, discussed the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement regarding his statement that Islamic State (IS) fighters use Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge for training.

“Why not invite Mr. Lavrov here?” Why not, let him come and see with his own eyes that nothing special is happening here,” Margvelashvili asked.

Asked later by a journalist about the same issue, Margvelashvili responded that he’s not even going to comment on Lavrov’s remarks.

“I am here with the EU and U.S. ambassadors, as well as with journalists and you can see with your own eyes how calm [the situation] is,” the President said. “Problems here are similar to those in other regions of the country – issues related to infrastructure, gasification have to be solved, there should be more employment opportunities for the youth.”

US Ambassador Ian Kelly emphasized that the United States is working closely with Georgia in the fight against terrorism.

“There is no terroristic base in the Pankisi Gorge,” he stated.

According to him, the Prime Minister and the President of Georgia have clearly responded to the allegations about the existence of terroristic bases in Georgia.

Watch short documentary how the Pankisi young people see their role in the development of the Georgian state.

30 January 2016 19:23