TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia categorically denies rumors spread on various social networks that weapons are being brought to Azerbaijan through its territory and calls on the Armenian side not to rely on such misinformation and fake news.
“We observe that various types of misinformation and fakes are spread in the social space, as if weapons are being transported through Georgia […] Recently, it was reported that weapons were brought to Azerbaijan through the territory of Georgia, which is a clear disinformation,” Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia states.
He says that Georgia has temporarily suspended issuing permits for the shipment of military cargo, but this does not apply to civilian cargo.
“The position of the Georgian side regarding the shipment of goods is unequivocal, which was voiced at yesterday’s meeting of the National Security Council. Georgia will suspend the issuing of permits for the shipment of military cargo to both countries; however, this does not apply to civilian cargo and Georgia will continue to fulfill its obligations in this regard, both to third countries and to our neighbors.”
Earlier, on Saturday, in the wake of a National Security Council meeting on the events in Nagorno-Karabakh, the head of Georgia’s State Security Service (SUS) Girgol Liluashvili had to officially deny reports about Georgia allowing passage of Syrian militants from Turkey to Azerbaijan.
In the last few days, social media in Armenia and unrecognized Karabakh have been flooded with rumors about Georgia letting trucks loaded with Turkish weapons into Azerbaijan and that these convoys are being protected by the Georgian police. There are also rumors that Georgia is devoting its airspace to planes bringing Turkish weapons to Azerbaijan.
For example, a channel on the social networking app Telegram called “Armenian Military portal”, which is popular with Armenian-speaking users, has recently published this information:
“A huge amount of various weapons intended for Azerbaijan continues to pass through the territory of Georgia. The Georgian police personally accompany each convoy, which means that official Tbilisi is taking part in aggressive actions directed against Armenia. In this regard, the Armenian Foreign Ministry is at least obliged to send a note of protest to Georgia and clearly express its position. In the case of Israel, the same must be done.”
This and similar content is repeatedly published and republished, causing great confusion among users and calling into question Georgia’s neutral position.
Earlier, in September, just after the outbreak of the Karabakh war, news was spread that Tbilisi TV tower and the Bridge of Peace were painted in the colors of the Azerbaijan flag as a sign of support in the war. These fake stories were accompanied by real photos dating from May 28, Republic Day in Azerbaijan. The embassy of Armenia in Tbilisi recently had to issue an official statement denouncing this report as fake.