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Current Georgian-Israeli relations

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, March 24
Georgian-Israeli relations had always been perfect. Georgia was Israelís good partner in different fields and vice versa, however some analysts suggest that due to the detention of two Israeli businessmen, the relations between two countries have cooled.

Recently the Israeli media has been criticizing the Georgian authorities. Moreover, analysts here in Georgia think that postponing visits of Parliament Speaker David Bakradze to Israel as well as postponing the visit of Economy Minister Vera Kobalia to Israel are connected with the court hearings of the above mentioned case in Tbilisi.

At the parliament in the so called government weekly hearings, Christian Democrat Levan Vepkhvadze expressed an interest in how the current developments influence the investment climate in Georgia. Minister of Economy Vera Kobalia answered the question mentioning that this case in court was beyond her control. It looks like the Georgian authorities are not prepared to make any concessions.

The leader of the parliamentary majority, Petre Tsiskarishvili, stated that Georgia does not need such a type of businessmen. He mentioned that during the previous administration under Shevardnadze these businessmen managed to receive the exclusive right of transporting oil across the territory of the country. Tsiskarishvili alleges that this document was received by those businessmen through illegal methods. The MP also stated that Georgia does not need businessmen who give bribes.

Georgiaís former FM and analyst Irakli Menagarishvili thinks that having good relations with Israel is in the best interests of Georgia. However this should not deviate from the legal frames of the country. He suggests not interfering in the court process but activating different political levers, establishing contacts and consultations with the Israeli side. Menagarishvili thinks that there is controversy surrounding this issue which is not pleasant at all and that the Georgian side should do its best to solve the problem.

Indeed, tension between the two brotherly nations is not beneficial to either. Something substantial should be done sooner rather than later.