At the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia on October 17, in the format of the Minister's Hour, the hearing of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Davit Zalkaliani was held.
Hearing of FM Davit Zalkaliani at plenary session of Parliament
By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Friday, October 18
“The Minister’s Hour format is an important mechanism for parliamentary democracy and parliamentary oversight of the government, which is already playing an important role in strengthening institutional democracy in the country. I welcome our active communication using various mechanisms of parliamentary oversight format,” said Zalkaliani during his speech.
David Zalkaliani spoke about the key directions and challenges facing the country since his appointment as Minister in June 2018. During his speech, he focused on steps to overcome the challenges and minimizing risks that the country faces.
“I want the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and personally me to be a person who brings peace to its people and not armed confrontation. I will take all the necessary steps to do this, despite criticism from political opponents because we act according to the mandate of our population. Behind our decision stands our country, for which peace, stability and development are the most important factors,” noted Zalkaliani.
According to him, the main goal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and at the same time, the main challenge is to strengthen sovereignty and restore territorial integrity peacefully.
He said progress on the road to EU integration is a key indicator of the success of the government team. According to him, Georgia is today valued as an advanced member of the European family, which is focused on democratic development.
According to David Zalkaliani, the international conference Georgia’s European Way held in Batumi was remarkable in this regard, which, according to him, was unprecedented in its magnitude, high level of participants and supportive statements made towards Georgia.
David Zalkaliani drew attention on November 21, 2018, the first high-level meeting of the Georgian and European Commission members in Brussels, which, according to the Minister is an unprecedented format created for Georgia only.
Speaking about plans, the Georgian Foreign Minister noted that active efforts would be directed at keeping the issue of Georgia on the EU agenda and making it more visible. The minister said work has begun on the Eastern Partnership summit, scheduled for May 2020, to be hosted by Croatia.
Zalkaliani also touched upon the meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov within the framework of the UN General Assembly. He said that the recent escalations near the occupied regions were the main reason for the meeting.
He said it is unacceptable to speculate that the meeting had not been announced in advance.
"At the outset of our visit to the United Nations, in all communications with the public, we were openly declaring that our partners were constantly discussing how to use the UN format to de-escalate the tense situation in Georgia," said Zalkaliani.
According to Zalkaliani, at the meeting with Lavrov, the Georgian side had raised all the issues, first of all, the occupation of Georgian territories, the situation on the occupied territories and recent developments. He said there was no discussion about creating any new format of talks and revising the existing one.
Zalkaliani was appointed as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on 21 June 2018. Before becoming the Minister, Zalkaliani served as the Deputy Minister several times of his career.