"When the government arrests a political opposition leader, it looks really bad in Washington," former US Ambassador to Georgia John Tefft said on Mtavari Channel’s "Guest of the Day" program.
I think they are very concerned here. You too have heard many statements made by the Friends of Georgia, and you have probably heard George Kent speak in the Senate. They are really worried about the future of democracy in Georgia, about what is happening in your country now and what your government is doing. It does not look good. When the government arrests a political opposition leader, it looks really bad here in Washington.
The second issue, which also appeared in the statements of George Kent and other friends of Georgia, was that all politicians in Georgia should take care of the future of the country. Maybe I am too direct now, but it seems that Georgian politicians are too involved in the confrontation between the parties and do not think about the future of the country in the long run.
The government did not receive EU aid, and perhaps that is my guess, there are people in the US administration who think: Why should we get involved in this if they have not received EU aid? - says Tefft.
According to Tefft, US President Joe Biden is very interested in Georgia, He was one of the initiators of the development of the assistance program for Georgia in 2008 and visited Tbilisi in 2009.
Joe Biden is very interested in Georgia. I'm sure it will continue. Joe Biden knows more about foreign policy than any other president I can remember, and this is especially true of the Eastern European region. In addition, it is very important for him that the country does not deviate from democratic values. He has said this many times regarding Ukraine and Georgia as well. For him, democratic values are the main thing, it has always been so. Therefore, the main thing is that the arrested oppositionists are released, a dialogue is held and a compromise is reached, - says John Tefft.
When asked whether the fact that new hotspots, such as Ukraine and Afghanistan, are emerging in the world, will weaken the attention to Georgia, John Tefft said that American officials understand well what is happening in Georgia, but the question is how soon they will be able to address these issues.
Many topics are really relevant now: Ukraine, Afghanistan .... I know Tony Blinken very well, who in turn knows Georgia very well, is aware of the political dynamics and everything that is happening in your country. However, I do not think that now they are going to be more involved in Georgia. They are, as the Americans say, in front of a plate full of problems. We have already been criticized by Republicans for not putting enough pressure on Russia and for Biden to have taken an overly lenient stance toward Moscow. I know that Biden, like Tony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, is well aware of what is happening in Georgia, the only question is how soon they will be able to be more actively involved in this issue, given that they have much more priority issues to address. "Georgia may not be happy to hear that, but that is the reality in Washington now," Tefft told the Main Channel.