Reuters: Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on Tuesday that his country is committed to joining NATO, but must solve its territorial problems with Russia before that.
He made the statement while attending an economic conference in Qatar. Earlier on Monday, at least 1,20,000 Georgians took to the streets in support of the country’s EU membership bid, after the European Commission recommended deferring Tbilisi’s candidacy.
Waving Georgian, Ukrainian, and EU flags, demonstrators flooded on Monday evening the main throughfare of the Georgian capital Tbilisi. In what was the biggest demonstration in decades, at least 120,000 people took part in the “March for Europe” in Tbilisi, according to an AFP estimate based on video footage shot from drones.
Many held placards that read “We are Europe” as the EU anthem, the Ode to Joy, was performed at the demonstration.
The rally was initiated by the Black Sea nation’s leading pro-democracy groups and supported by all of the opposition parties to “demonstrate the commitment of the Georgian people to its European choice and Western values”.
“Europe is a historical choice and an aspiration of Georgians, for which all generations have given sacrifices,” the rally organisers said on Facebook.