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Ruling team respects President’s pick for Security Council

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 26
The Minister of Defence and members of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party say they respect the President’s decision to appoint David Rakviashvili as the new head of the National Security Council, an advisory body under the President discussing defence and security issues.

Rakviashvili held senior positions under the United National Movement (UNM) Government and as President Giorgi Margvelashvili said the new Secretary had big experience how to communicate with the United State and Russia.

Margvelashvili also said he had known Rakviashvili for 30 years, and apart from his high-level political and diplomatic career the new Secretary was a very experienced alpinist.

Rakviashvili was deputy state minister for reintegration between 2008-2010 and was involved in the Geneva Discussions; in 2011-2013 he served at the Georgian Embassy to the United States. For years he led the supervisory board of Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), where Margvelashvili served as the rector before joining the Georgian Dream coalition team.

“It’s the President’s decision to appoint the secretaries of the National Security Council. We have a very good relationship with the President and the National Security Council and this will continue,” Georgia’s Defence Minister Levan Izoria said.

Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said he had known Rakviashvili as a diplomat and was ready to cooperate with him.

The head of Parliament’s Defence and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili, stressed he had no previous personal communication with Rakviashvili, but it was up to the President to appoint the new Secretary.

A member of the United National Movement opposition party, ex-Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze, described Rakviashvili as a “very qualified politician and diplomat”.

He said Rakviashvili was appointed to a very responsible post in the situation when the ruling team was trying to suppress the President’s institute and when two Security Councils existed in Georgia.

The National Security Council of Georgia is the President’s key advisory body offering advice on national security, foreign policy and interior policy for the country.

According to the Constitution of Georgia, the National Security Council 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 the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Defence Minister, the Interior Minister, the Finance Minister and the Secretary of the National Security Council. The Speaker of Parliament also participates regularly in the working of National Security Council.

In 2014, when the Prime Minister was Irakli Gharibashvili - who refused to attend the Security Council meetings under Margvelashvili - created a consulting group called “the Security Council” which worked on issues concerning Georgia’s internal and external safety.

The council had almost the same duties and responsibilities as the National Security Council under the President of Georgia.

The reason named for the decision was that under the new Constitution of Georgia, the Prime Minister had more duties and obligations than the President.

This formula, by the way, was introduced by the initiative of former ruling power UNM.