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Georgian cabinet ministers resign

5 November 2014 17:30 (UTC+04:00)
Georgian cabinet ministers resign

By Sara Rajabova

Georgia has been facing the resignations of its cabinet ministers one after another over the past few days.

The resignations came after the dismissal of Defense Minister Irakli Alasania by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on November 4.

Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze announced her resignation during a special briefing at the Georgian Foreign Ministry on November 5.

Panjikidze also announced her withdrawal from the ruling coalition Georgian Dream.

"It is now clear that the defense minister was fired for political reasons. Such a decision amounts to an attack on pro-Western forces in the Georgian government," she said.

Panjikidze noted that the European choice of the Georgian nation is currently endangered.

"Over the last two years, our team achieved great successes. We defended the European and Euroatlantic values. We have created qualitatively new opportunities for European and Euroatlantic integration. We also signed an association agreement with the EU," Panjikidze added.

She also said NATO has provided a substantial package of measures. Georgia has made significant progress in terms of the policy of non-recognition of the occupied regions. Meanwhile, a growing number of countries are supporting the UN resolutions on Georgia.

"Significant progress has also been made in terms of strategic cooperation with the U.S., and most importantly, we were able to neutralize the skepticism of the international community towards the new government," Panjikidze said.

The ex-foreign minister went on to say that the future of the activities and its results has been threatened, so she decided to resign.

Panjikidze underlined that European future is the choice of the Georgian people, supported in the 2012 elections.

Panjikidze's deputies Davit Zalkaliani, Tamar Beruchashvili and Davit Jalagania resigned together with her.

Prime Minister Garibashvili dismissed Defense Minister Alasania, who was also a leader of the Free Democrats party, after a meeting of the parliamentary majority fraction.

He stated that the decision has been taken because Alasania had tried to politicize an investigation into corruption cases in his department. "The minister has made an irresponsible statement that there is a threat on Georgian Euroatlantic values. He is trying to politicize the investigation into the Defense Ministry, where a number of serious violations and corruption have been recorded. Instead of collaborating with the investigation, he politicized the situation. It is unacceptable," Garibashvili said.

He stressed that he will not accept a minister who helps his friends to hold tenders with violations. "The minister couldn't even feed the army well so that the soldiers don't get poisoned," he added.

Meanwhile, Head of the General Staff of the Georgian armed forces, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze said Georgia's army stands beyond politics and it is not involved in any political struggle.

Commenting on Alasania's dismissal, Kapanadze said his activity as the defense minister was successful, adding that his tenure was one of the most important stages in the development of the Georgia's armed forces.

"The army is beyond the politics. It will not take any side. The army is an independent institution which does not participate in the political struggle. Alasania did much for the armed forces," Kapanadze said.

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