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PM denied participation in Security Council session

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 12
The president of Georgia has requested a second meeting of the Security Council. According to an official statement, which is on the president’s web page, the council session would be dedicated to the attack against Georgian troops in Afghanistan, and a video containing threats against Georgian troops and the people of Georgia, as well as other related security issues.

Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, who did not attend the previous Security Council session on June 5th denied that he would participate in the meeting scheduled for June 11th. According to Ivanishvili, the issues raised by the President for the session “were not of interest to him.”

The prime minister was critical of the Security Council, stressing that the council did not meet for 8 months until the new state administration raised some serious questions.

The PM emphasized that he would only take part in the sessions when they were being held to achieve real goals and not just for the sake of a meeting.

Ivanishvili stated that the interior minister, the foreign minister and the defense minister would participate in the session. He also voiced certain questions the ministers had for the president.

“The foreign minister is especially interested in the session. She wants to ask the president why he does not appoint ambassadors. The defense minister wants to ask why the president went to Afghanistan, when such a trip carried significant risks,” Ivanishvili stated, adding that it is known who is behind the video materials uploaded on You Tube.

“I am not going to say anything until the investigations are over. However, the former government has experience in making such films,” Ivanishvili stated.

The parliamentary minority assessed the PM’s refusal to comment as an action going against the state. They also appealed to the Prime Minister “to stop gossiping and wait for the outcome of the investigation"

“The PM’s statement that the Security Council session is not of interest to him is alarming… it was not a statement of a state figure,” UNM representative, Ando Barnovi stated, adding that "the United National Movement has demanded the issues raised by the video tapes, be investigated immediately. However, it looks like this process has lengthened"

“Figuring out how the videos were uploaded requires several hours… it is strange that the investigation is not still over…we appeal to the new administration to give up spreading rumours and make statements and wait until the investigation has been concluded and the findings issued,” Barnovi said.

Parliamentary Speaker, Davit Usupashvili as well as the Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, stated that the investigation “is progressing” however, they refrained from making any additional statements.

Usupashvili addressed the parliament with the proposal to issue a common document which clarifies the state's attitude concerning the tragic events that took part in Afghanistan and the video materials.

The parliamentary majority members stated that adopting this document would be appropriate and timely. However, parliamentary minority member, Giorgi Kandelaki, said that after the PM’s statements, working on the common document might be difficult.

The US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland emphasized that the meetings of the Security Council are important. According to Norland, the meetings enable the political sides to discuss important issues and elaborate policy that will ensure the country's security. The American ambassador stressed that the US will assist the Georgian government in studying the video materials that were uploaded on You Tube under the name of the Taliban.

The National Security Council of Georgia (NSC) advises the President of Georgia on National Security, Foreign Policy and Domestic Policy. 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.