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Levan Mikeladze: A Remembrance

Monday, April 26
It has been a year since Levan Mikeladze passed away on April 26th 2009. No man was more important to Georgia’s diplomatic service in the post-communist era than Ambassador Levan Mikeladze. His distinguished career in government included positions in the National Security Council and as the Georgian ambassador to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, OSCE and international organizations in Vienna and Geneva. After resigning his ambassadorial position in Switzerland in protest against the brutal crackdown of a peaceful rally in Tbilisi on November 7th 2007, he worked as the Head of International Relations of Tethys Petroleum Ltd., an international energy company. In 2008, he joined Ambassador Irakli Alasania in establishing “Alliance for Georgia” - a leading pro-western opposition political union in Georgia. He believed that Georgians have chosen to build a strong democracy and a free market and that no other objective should supersede it.

Levan’s ambassadorial career was remarkable, and his achievements in the United States and elsewhere extremely important; yet, obviously, he made the most difference during his 6-year tenure in Vienna in negotiations on the conclusion of 1996 and 1999 OSCE Summit decisions on Georgia and the 1999 Istanbul agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia and the adaptation of CFE Treaty. Many people worked together to bring about this epoch-making accord to Georgia and the all of Europe, but hardly any of the Georgians played a more prominent and crucial role than Levan Mikeladze, who was then ambassador to OSCE.

Levan is survived by his wonderful wife Lali, daughters Tina and Marika, and baby grandson Nikolas whom Levan so adored. It is comforting for us to know that The Levan Mikeladze Foundation was established recently and an official presentation will be held shortly on 27th of April. Levan represented the best of the Georgian character. He touched the lives of many people across the world – spending his life caring for other people, looking out for others. It makes us, his friends and collegues feel incredibly lucky to have known him so well but also deeply sorry and sad that we would never see him smile and talk again in the way that only Levan could. We miss him terribly and cannot stop thinking about him. We believe that all those who knew him will say that Georgia has lost someone who embodied what the country could and should be.
Giga Makharadze