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Interior Minister shares 2013 strategy with students

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, January 15
Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA) Irakli Gharibashvili introduced the MIA strategic plan for 2013 to university students exclusively. Over 300 students joined an informal meeting with the Minister at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel on January 11th.

After a brief introduction of his professional background, the minister recollected how hopeful he felt about the United National Movement (UNM) and how he voted for Mikheil Saakashvili’s presidency in 2004. Gharibashvili said after returning to Georgia from Sorbonne University in France that he had to choose between starting to work at Saakashvili’s administration or the Qartu Group. Gharibashvili chose the latter.

“I got to work with a very interesting person and received great experience,” he said, referring to now Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the Qartu Group. Emphasizing Ivanishvili’s contribution to Georgia over the years, Gharibashvili said he joined the Georgian political arena with Ivanishvili in October 2011 “dreaming about a free Georgia.”

Gharibashvili said it does not matter where a person works, it is more important that they act in a truthful way. Speaking about the large number of illegally detained people during the UNM’s governance, the minister said he will not let anything similar to happen in MIA again.

The minister explained why he chose to introduce the MIA's strategy to the students first. “You are the ones that will govern a free, strong and democratic Georgia in the future,” the minister told the students, stressing that their influence on developing public opinion is high. He said Georgia has a “unique opportunity” to develop and move to the “next stage” after the democratic parliamentary elections.

Emphasizing the importance of MIA as the guarantor of security in the country, Gharibashvili said he wants to bring “new blood” to his ministry. “If you help me, I will help you,” Gharibshvili told the students.

He said it is time that Georgia stands on the right path to development– "changes in the system are underway," he said. He plans to depoliticize the MIA and promised “realistic results.” Abolishing the “repressive machinations” of Constitution Security Department and Special Operation Department acting against the citizens, Gharibashvili said a modern Western-style anti-corruption state security agency was created by merging the functions of the police and security.

During the two-hour meeting the minister answered the students’ questions and shared his concern over the law on amnesty, illegal detentions, the prevention of crime among adults, audio and video recordings and other political and non political issues.

The fight against drug-addiction, corruption, terrorism, illegal migration and cyber attacks are among the challenges of the MIA. The ministry also plans to the rebrand patrol police and bring the reform to an end with public engagement.