Georgian Ambassadorial Day continues
By Salome Modebadze
Friday, September 7Restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity was the main focus of Georgian Ambassadorial Day on September 6th. “It is possible to solve the country’s conflict through negotiations,” Foreign Minister of Argentina Hector Timerman said after a closed-door meeting with his Georgian counterpart Grigol Vashadze.
Timerman said although Georgia is far from his country it is “close to his heart” adding the two countries should cooperate around the issues they share in common.
Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed the presence of Hector Timerman in Georgia emphasizing that he is the first high-ranking politician from Latin America who has ever been to Georgia. “Georgia and Argentina are just starting bilateral relations,” Vashadze said confident that the both countries will learn a lot from each other.
At this stage Georgia and Argentina plan to cooperate in the sectors of education, tourism and agriculture and as well as healthcare, business and trade. Referring to Argentina as one of the main agriculture producing countries in the world Timerman promised to assist Georgia.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said that Georgia has significant international support so that Georgia’s territorial integrity is not under question in the "civilized part of the world". She also stressed the necessity of returning IDPs to their homes. According to Kalandadze the guests of Ambassadorial Day should be informed of Georgia’s strategy as well as get engaged in solutions to this issue.
Commenting on Ambassadorial Day President Mikheil Saakashvili said “The whole world has arrived in Georgia to give advice to Georgian ambassadors, support Georgia and assist it.” Saakashvili said, adding he was amazed that a small country like Georgia has become so globally recognized. He said despite the problems people face in the country the achievements of the current government have made Georgia special.
Meanwhile representative of opposition coalition Georgian Dream asked Georgian ambassadors to give Georgian emigrants the right to vote. “We ask you to realize the situation and avoid becoming the cold weapons of the government acting against its own citizens in an already hysterical election environment,” the authors of the statement said calling for ambassadors to let Georgian emigrants freely register on the voters’ lists and vote at parliamentary elections without too much red tape.
Former Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees Irakli Alasania, Tedo Japaridze, Viktor Dolidze, Maia Panjikidze, Davit Zalkaliani, Aleksi Petriashvili, Zaal Gogsadze, Giorgi Volski, Konstantine Surguladze and Irakli Chikovani emphasized how hard it was for them to leave diplomatic service but “when you clearly see that the constitutional rights of your citizens are rudely violated, it is unacceptable to keep silent,” they said adding that by scheduling the elections on a Monday the Georgian government has limited emigrants’ right to vote.