President Giorgi Margvelashvili refrained from making a clear comment over his presence at the Climate Change Summit in the United States. Commenting on the recent controversy over the issue, the president admitted that he is focused on the NATO summit now.
Georgia’s climate change representative still unclear
By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, September 3
“However, we are also preparing for the departure to the United States,” Margvelashvili said.
Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said she will try to persuade the president not to attend the Climate Change summit during the NATO Wales Summit, as the presence of two state leaders at UN events could damage the country’s image.
Panjikidze also stated that the Foreign Ministry has tried to achieve an agreement over the issue with the president’s advisor in the foreign policy field Tengiz Pkhaladze. However, the attempt yeilded no favorable outcomes.
The Prime Minister has not made any comment concerning the issue. However, during the Leader’s Forum on September 1, he reiterated that situation has changed in the country in terms of state leaders. He emphasized that the Prime Minister holds the major levers the president used to have.
Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the founder of the NGO Georgian Reforms’ Associates (GRASS), Sergi Kapanadze, has suggested that it will be really inconvenience and problematic, if President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili attend the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly and only the PM takes part in major events.
“According to the tradition, the delegation is headed by the head of state; as for the question: who should go, the answer is simple - Head of State. In our case, the head of state is the president,” Kapanadze said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani informed on September 1 that the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili will take part in all the UN events, including the Climate Change Summit.
The UN Climate Change’s 69th Conference is going to be held on September 23, 2014 in New York where the speech for the Prime Minister is already scheduled. Zalkaniani stressed that as a rule, heads of delegations take part in all the events, and the head of the Georgian delegation to the UN gathering is the Prime Minister.