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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, May 7
Swiss Ambassador: Of course my letter was an unusual step

In an interview with Kviris Palitra, Ambassador of Switzerland to Georgia, Guenther Baechler, said his letter to Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili (sent on March 15, 2013 in response to “the unprecedented and partisan statements of some European MPs both ahead, during, and after the Parliamentary elections in Georgia”) was an unusual step for an ambassador. Baechler said that the majority positively assessed this letter and shared his opinion welcoming the fact that Baechler tried “to discharge the tension” that had followed the statements of particular international organizations.

He said it is not a surprise that the former Georgian government has great influence on “Europe’s position” as they had managed to develop strong communication with important European forces during their nine years of governance. While despite being democratically elected, the new government is already starting to settle relations with their European partners from the starting point. According to the ambassador this all needs time.

He said one of the main goals of his letter was to show that the critical approach towards the new Georgian government had always been right. “Everyone has the right to ask why the government cannot fulfill its promises,” he said, adding that when people think they have the best government, foreign diplomats should take this opinion into consideration.

Baechler told Kviris Palitra that he thinks that Georgia’s foreign course is mainly going in a pro-Western direction. However, he said positive changes have also been observed in terms of cooperating with Russia, not at the expense of “damaging” European ties. He said no “red lines” are being crossed, which is “a wise approach.”

The Swiss Ambassador expressed his worries that the Minister of Agriculture had to resign after launching “a long-term, grand project,” which Baechler considers important for Georgian agriculture. He said Davit Kirvalidze’s resignation was a decision made by a loyal person and emphasized that the former minister does not try to avoid responsibility. “It was a real European nature, which is not so frequent even in Europe,” he said, hoping the investigation will not reveal corruptive deals of the minister and the later will return to his position.

Ambassador Baechler thinks that every country and nation has its own mechanisms of protection and ideology developed through the centuries. He said if Georgia becomes a member of NATO it would be the natural continuation of the country’s historic path.