Ex-Foreign Minister and leader of the opposition Georgia’s Way party Salome Zourabichvili hailed the Georgian authorities’ decision to carry out an anti-criminal operation in upper Kodori Gorge against rebel militia forces as “a positive” step.
“At this point, I can assess it as positive, but this operation now needs an appropriate assessment to find out what kind of force was used, whether it was an excessive use of force or not,” Zourabichvili told Rustavi 2 television late on July 27 after the authorities announced that they were in full control of the gorge.
Zourabichvili is so far the only opposition politician who has hailed the authorities’ move to send troops to Kodori to confront defiant militia groups there. Although most opposition parties have condemned the actions of rebel warlord Emzar Kvitsiani, they called on the authorities to refrain from using force.
Zourabichvili has also hailed the government’s decision to send the Abkhaz government-in-exile, which is currently based in Tbilisi, to Kodori Gorge. “I want to congratulate the authorities on the decision to relocate the Abkhaz authorities to Kodori Gorge,” she said.
But she also warned authorities not “to experience a feeling of euphoria, as we should not forget that this year our major priority should be South Ossetia.”