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Both PM and President invited to UN 70th session in New-York

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, August 18
Georgia might have two delegations for the 70th session of United Nation’s (UN) General Assembly at the end of September in New York as both Georgia’s Prime Minister and the President received invitations.

PM Irakli Garibashvili intends to deliver a speech at the session while President Giorgi Margvelashvili has been invited by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite to a discussion - Future of Europe: Empowering the Role of Women.

The President thanked his counterpart and accepted the invitation.

Different political forces have different views on who should leave for the United States. However, they are actually unanimous that the delegation should be one.

Georgia’s former Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze stressed that the last year’s “shameful confrontations” over such foreign visits should not be repeated.

Panjikidze, who is now in the opposition party, the Free Democrats, states that the arrival of two delegations from one country at the session has probably never happened in the UN's history.

“I cannot imagine the Prime Minister being the head of a delegation and the President being a member of the same delegation or vice versa.

“Last year we had a very bad practice of public discussions over the departures and I hope that such situations will not be repeated,,” she said.

In response, the President’s Advisor in Foreign Affairs, Tengiz Pkhaladze, said that Panjikidze had no right to make the statement as she was directly involved in the procedures last year on behalf of the government.

Pkaladze also spoke about the deliberate discrediting of the President’s institute and hoped for no repetition of the previous year’s negative practice.

Panjikidze stated that her body was responsible for the successful arranging of the visits for both the PM and the President.

The current Foreign Ministry leadership is also waiting for the “high-level solutions” over the issue to arrange the visits, the Foreign Ministry said.

The opposition United National Movement and Free Democrats parties believe that the President should leave for the assembly.

“As there are multiple economic and social issues, the government and its head should be focused on events currently in the country,” the UNM said.

The majority representative Dimitri Khundadze claims that as the most powerful politician of the country, the Prime Minister should attend the event.