Davit Bakradze’s “huge experience” in relations with the European Union was behind the decision to appoint him as state minister in charge of conflict resolution, President Saakashvili said on July 20.
“His experience in international relations and politics is of crucial importance for making our actions in respect of conflict resolution more intensive,” Saakashvili said.
“I want Davit Bakradze’s appointment to this position to be perceived as a signal of our readiness to engage the EU in this [conflict resolution] process and [of Georgia’s readiness] to continue more intensive negotiations on these issues with Russia,” Saakashvili added.
He said that Georgia today was in a much better position in terms of conflict resolution because of economic development and international support.
Bakradze replaced Merab Antadze, who was appointed deputy foreign minister in charge of relations with Russia – the position he held before becoming the state minister last July.
Saakashvili made his comments at a specially organized televised address on the cabinet reshuffle. Both Bakradze and Antadze were in attendance.
The president praised Antadze as “a professional diplomat and patriot” and awarded him with the Medal of Honor.
The new state minister said that the conflicts in Georgia were no longer frozen. “They are now moving into an active phase of settlement,” he said.