james appathurai

James Appathurai. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–NATO envoy James Appathurai says he is ‘a bit concerned by the level of mistrust’ between Georgia’s government and opposition.

Appathurai, whose full title is NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, wrote on Facebook yesterday after leaving Georgia that he is impressed with seeing a ‘huge progress’ in the country.

“But also, this time, a bit concerned by the level of mistrust between government and opposition, the recent revelations of possible crimes, and the perception of selective justice,” he writes. “Hope to see all three areas improve soon.”

On the second day of the visit by a NATO delegation, officials of Tbilisi City Hall and Council were in the morning detained, questioned and released, but four of them were again detained at night, when the delegation left.

The visit by the North Atlantic Council ended on Thursday evening. NATO ambassadors, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Ministers for Defense and Euro Atlantic integration, and Giorgi Baramidze from the parliamentary opposition, in the evening attended the ceremony of Georgian soldiers leaving for Afghanistan at the airport in Tbilisi.

The NATO Secretary General and the Minister of Defense addressed the soldiers before their departure. Irakli Alasania, the Defense Minister said that despite its losses, Georgia will complete the ISAF mission and this way show that ‘Georgians always fulfill promises.’

The 31st infantry battalion of the third infantry brigade of Georgia’s armed forces and Batumi’s infantry battalion left on Thursday for Afghanistan.

Georgian soldiers receive six months of intensive training before being sent to participate in ISAF. Now they will also get training in Hohenfels, Germany at the JMRC – Joint Multinational Readiness Center.