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President asks French leader, European Council chief to discuss Georgia issue

Сouncil meeting is scheduled for April 17

TBILISI, April 16. /TASS/. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has asked French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel to discuss the situation in Georgia at a council meeting on April 17, the presidential administration said in a statement.

"Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has asked Charles Michel and Emmanuel Macron to discuss the current events in Georgia at tomorrow’s meeting of the European Council, even though the issue is not on the agenda," the statement reads.

Protests against a foreign agent bill have been going on in Tbilisi since Monday. On Tuesday, protests escalated into clashes with police. Police officers used tear gas to push demonstrators back from the service entrance to the parliament building.

In early April, the ruling Georgian Dream party announced its decision to reintroduce the bill a year after the initiative had triggered mass protests, making the authorities opt against adopting it. The bill is almost identical to last year’s, with one exception: the term "agent of foreign influence" has been replaced with "organization pursuing foreign interests."

The party's decision to reintroduce the bill caused a negative reaction from the opposition and President Salome Zurabishvili, as well as from the EU and US embassies. According to those opposing the idea, the bill will hinder the country’s integration into the European Union.

Foreign agent laws are in effect in Russia, some Western countries, Israel and China. The United States was the first to adopt the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 1938.