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Deputy Foreign Ministers are appointed

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, January 11
The new first and second Deputy Foreign Ministers were appointed by the Acting Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, on January 8. Davit Zalkaniani will be the first Deputy Minister, while the second is Zviad Gonadze. A former colleague of Zalkaniani ,Viktor Dolidze, dubbed Zalkaniani a true professional. "Even though he is no longer or our party, he is a person who shares the spirit of our team. His professionalism could not be left unused. The decision of our new PM gives us hope that he will aim to appoint only the best people to vacant positions,"stated Dolidze.

The other deputy ministers - Davit Dondua, Davit Jalaghania, Gigi Gigiadze and Khatuna Tortladze – have retained their positions. According to the PM, Gonadze has extensive experience working with international organizations, and he has also worked in different governmental bodies. Prior to appointing Zalkaliani to the post, he was a member of the Free Democrats opposition party. However, as he said, several months ago he quit the party led by Irakli Alasania and became a chairperson of one of Georgia’s charitable foundations.

In November 2014, the then-Minister of Defence, Alasania stated that some of his employees had been wrongly dismissed by the government because of his intentions to bring Georgia closer to NATO. Consequently, Alasania, the leader of the Free Democrats, stated that Georgia’s “Euro-Atlantic course” was at risk. Following the firing of Alasania for his statements over Georgia’s foreign priorities, several other politicians quit their posts; Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze, who is Alasania’s sister-in-law; her deputy Davit Zalkaliani, who was a member of the Free Democrats; the Minister of Georgia’s Integration to European and Euro-Atlantic space, Aleksi Petriashvili; and another deputy of Panjikidze, Tamar Beruchashvili. They all shared the view that Georgia’s foreign course was at risk under the current state leadership.

However, shortly after making the statements, Beruchashvili changed her view and returned to power as Georgia’s new Foreign Minister, replacing Panjikidze. After several months, Beruchasvili was replaced with Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who has just become Georgia’s new Prime Minister. Beruchashvili is now Georgia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

When Parliament confirmed the new Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers at the end of last year, the former Deputy Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze was promoted to the post of Georgia’s Foreign Minister; consequently, some positions became vacant in the Ministry.