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New Foreign Policy Interagency Council criticized

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, January 21
A Foreign Policy Interagency Council has been established via the initiative of Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. However, the Crisis and Security Management Council still operates in the country. The move enjoys support from the majority in parliament and is being criticized by the opposition.

The major function of the council will be specifying Georgia’s foreign priorities, making recommendations and coordinating all the state structures that are responsible for implementations in the field.

The body will be chaired by the Prime Minister. The minister of justice, foreign affairs, defense, economy and the minister for Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic Integration will be permanent members of the institution.

It appears however that the president lacks representation in the structure.

After the first session of the council on January 7, it has been revealed that the president’s representative would be invited for the following sitting.

The opposition United National Movement (UNM) claims that the formation of the council is a good example of the failure of the current government in the foreign policy direction.

“It is obvious now that Ivanishvili’s team is engaged in the creation of various councils instead of fulfilling their commitments,” UNM MP Giga Bokeria said.

Former Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili believes that the council hinted on the drawbacks of the ministry of foreign affairs.

“The PM and the government are not happy with the activities of the ministry. However, if the PM takes the functions of the ministry, what duties will be left for the latter?” Petriashvili asked.

The speculation has been promptly dismissed by the majority. Coalition member Tedo Japaridze stressed that the body would not replace the ministry.

“The aim of the council is to enhance effective coordination between the various bodies,” Japaridze said.

Analysts are skeptical of the council.

Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili suggested that the council was a virtual body and aimed at removing the full burden of responsibility from the PM in the case if unsuccessful political steps were taken.

“The people who are in the council are responsible for the foreign policy solutions anyway. The council would have been more interesting and meaningful if it was composed of scholars and diplomats. The council consisting of only the PM’s subordinates is just an illusion,” Tsiskarishvili said.

The same vision was shared by constitutionalist Vakhtang Dzabiradze. “It was characteristic for the Soviet Union to create new councils when there was a problem. I see the council as one more useless bureaucratic structure,” Dzabiradze said.

Georgia faces serious foreign challenges. Let’s wait for the benefits provided by the body.