Friday, July 20, 2007, #137 (1404)

New Minister for a ‘New Approach’: Bakradze Replaces Antadze
By Ana Kvrivishvili

Davit Bakradze the
incoming State Minister
for Conflict Resolution

Ruling party MP Davit Bakradze is replacing Merab Antadze as State Minister for Conflict Resolution, confirmed parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee chair Kote Gabashvili July 19.

“This new dimension [in South Ossetia conflict resolution] needs new approaches… and I think that it was a very good decision to select Bakradze for this position,” Gabashvili told Mze TV.

Gabashvili praised the outgoing state minister as “a very experienced diplomat,” and said that Antadze will continue diplomatic service. Antadze is back in his previous post as a deputy foreign minister, according to the ministry’s website.

Political expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze, speaking with The Messenger, said that Bakradze’s selection for the job is part of the effort to promote Tbilisi-backed Dmitry Sanakoyev as a legitimate leader for South Ossetia.

“Bakradze has connections in Europe…and he is necessary for getting Europe to recognize Sanakoyev as the representative of South Ossetia,” Sakvarelidze said.

Bakradze, until this appointment, was chair of the parliamentary Committee on European Integration.

Sakvarelidze argues that Antadze wasn’t pushed out for bad work—if he was, Sakvarelidze said, he wouldn’t have landed back in his old post.

Former conflict resolution state minister Goga Khaindrava told The Messenger it doesn’t make a difference who holds the post, as the administration’s strategies for conflict resolution won’t change.
“There will be a person who will be told what to do, and he’ll do it,” claimed Khaindrava.

The former state minister described Bakradze as “one of the president’s own,” but said that Bakradze lacks Antadze’s negotiation experience.

In October of 2005, Bakradze, along with MPs Nino Burjanadze, Giga Bokeria and Nika Rurua co-authored a strongly worded parliamentary resolution on Russian peacekeeper withdrawal from the conflict zones. The resolution described secessionist authorities in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as “criminal regimes” and “clannish dictatorships.”

Since then, Bakradze has been a key point man in the Sanakoyev charm campaign, with a leading role in orchestrating his Brussels visit.

The same day Antadze’s departure was confirmed, Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili announced the resignation of deputy defense minister Aleksander Sukhitashvili, who was in charge of the Military Police. Kezerashvili cited “health concerns.”

Site Meter
© The Messenger. All rights reserved. Please read our disclaimer before using any of the published materials.