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Security Council Session held

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, June 6
President Mikheil Saakashvili called the session of the Security Council on May 5. According to the President, the aim of the meeting was to discuss the issues ongoing at the administrative border of Georgia. The Prime minister, who is a permanent member of the council, did not take part in the session, as well as the Defense and Foreign Ministers who are holding meetings abroad. The Minister of Finance, Interior Minister, Minister in Reintegration issues, the deputies of the Foreign and Defense ministers and the Parliament chair took part in the session. Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugulava and the United National Movement MP, Davit Bakradze, also attended the session.

The National Security Council of Georgia (NSC) advises the President of Georgia on National Security, Foreign Policy and Domestic Policy. The NSC is the highest political decision-making body for security matters and is tasked with strengthening national defense and national security, as well as enhancing stability and the rule of law.

The NSC is chaired by the President of Georgia. The National Security Adviser of the President, the Secretary of the National Security Council directs its activities. The regular statutory attendees of the National Security Council are as follows: the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs, Finance Minister, National Security Advisor to the President of Georgia (Secretary of the National Security Council) and the parliament, also participates regularly in NSC working meetings.

It should be noted that after the parliamentary elections in 2012 the first meeting of the council took place. PM Ivanishvili has criticized the council activities several times, stating that the council did not fulfil its obligations, misused state funds and spent much money on foreign lobbyists.

State Security and Non-Recognition policy were the major issues. According to President Saakashvili, holding the session was important for several reasons (elections included). But the Security Council could not gather.

“State interests are the issue the government and the opposition should collaborate and act together upon,” the President stated, hoping that the Prime Minister would attend the following meetings of the council. According to him, the sides shared the attitudes and information with one another.

Prime Minister stressed that he could not attend the session as the members of the former government “did not give up the older tradition and informed the current government members at the last moment.” The PM stressed that the Security Council session should have been held until now and reiterated that the council has been receiving salaries practically for nothing over the past 7 months.

According to the Secretary of Security Council, Giga Bokeria, Ivanishvili has no information concerning the structure of the council. “The Prime Minister is a member of the council, without agreement between the members of the council the session cannot be held,” Bokeria stated. After the meeting, Bokeria stated that the session was “meaningful and useful.”

Interior Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, stated that similar sessions are important and they should continue.

“We wish the session was held earlier…we discussed the state's important issues– state security and so on, the meeting was important and similar sessions should continue,” Gharibashvili said.

Head of the non-parliament opposition Democratic Movement-United Georgia and former parliament chair, Nino Burjanadze , stated that the meeting was “formal”, as collaboration between the sides where one accuses another in certain issues is impossible.