President Mikheil Saakashvili said on February 1 that independence for Kosovo posed major challenges for Georgian diplomacy.
Saakashvili made his remarks while presenting new Foreign Minister Davit Bakradze to the ministry staff.
“We should all understand that Georgia is in a very, very difficult period in terms of the foreign situation,” Saakashvili said. “The fact that the process of recognizing Kosovo will be launched next week means that our country will face a very serious storm. But our country, if we work well, will avoid any storms. It is possible if everybody understands that we are not the employees of one of the elite ministries, but we are soldiers, who should save the country.”
The president also said that a Department of Russia should be set up within the Foreign Ministry to ensure a smooth realignment in relations with the Russian Federation.
Saakashvili also presented Gia Vashadze, the new deputy foreign minister, whom he described as “a diplomat with great experience.” Vashadze held top positions in the Soviet Foreign Ministry until 1988.
“He is familiar with the policies of our traditional and key partner, Russia, and I want him to work in this area,” Saakashvili said.
The president also praised the work done by Gela Bezhuashvili, ex-foreign minister, who will be appointed head of the intelligence service.