NSC Chief: Tbilisi Concerned over Situation in Belarus

Giga Bokeria, the secretary of the National Security Council (NSC), said on December 24 that the situation in Belarus was source of concern for Georgia and expressed hope that five arrested former opposition presidential candidates would be released.

"Belarus is Georgia's friend. These relations are very important for us. We strongly support its [Belarus] sovereignty," Bokeria told journalists.

"Hence, the current situation causes concern and we express hope that the arrested persons, including the candidates, will be released," he said. "At the same time, it is very important to continue a dialogue between Belarus and European Union, Belarus and the United States."

Authorities in Tbilisi were cautious in their public statements while commenting on the presidential election in Belarus, saying that final assessments would be made after the announcement of final results. However, it emerged through the Belarus President's official website that President Saakashvili congratulated Alexander Lukashenko with victory on December 20 - just day after the elections.


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