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President’s first NSC meeting

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 4
President Giorgi Margvelashvili chaired his first session of the National Security Council (NSC), where Georgia’s future with NATO and the country’s involvement in international military missions were discussed. The aim of the meeting was to discuss Georgia’s preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales where Georgia will be offered a substantive package instead of the Membership Action Plan (MAP), which Georgia was hoping for. The President will attend the NATO Wales Summit in September.

The meeting was attended by NSC secretary Irina Imerlishvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze, State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili, Defence Minister Irakli Alasania, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri, head of the Security and Defence Committee of Parliament of Georgia Irakli Sesiashvili and Georgia's Ambassador to NATO Levan Dolidze.

The President stressed that the country’s participation in international peacekeeping missions, reforms that were implemented in the defence sector, and democratic reforms on the road to NATO, were met successfully, but still a lot of work remained. The NSC session also covered the issue of the decreasing the number of Georgian troops in Afghanistan from the beginning of next year.

However, there was a second issue last week Margvelashvili did not feel happy about. The issue concerned Supreme Court candidates named by Margvelashvili on August 1 and voted down by parliament. Margvelashvili called the fact “absolutely incomprehensible.”

Nino Bakakuri and Zurab Dzlierishvili were the candidates named by the President. The candidates that Magrvelashvili selected were based on their qualifications and high professionalism. Based on their CVs, both of the candidates have had excellent careers.

“I am frankly surprised at what has happened with respect to the Supreme Court judge candidates, especially in the circumstances when the entire world is watching our judiciary system closely. The President’s administration selected the judges based on their impartiality, political neutrality and professionalism. The candidates received support at committee hearings, when they were rejected at the plenary session,” Margvelashvili states.

Majority MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili claims that the majority was divided over the candidates. Kutsnashvili even asked for brief consultations just before the vote, but his proposal was not shared by his colleagues from the Georgian Dream coalition.