An international conference addressing energy security and development of Southern Energy Corridor opened in Batumi on January 14, which initially was intended to be a high-level International Energy Summit.
According to initial official announcements, including by the Georgian Foreign Ministry made earlier this week, that the summit would be attended by “almost ten heads of states”, including Presidents of Poland, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. But as it emerged early on January 14, the presidents were not able to attend for reasons that were not immediately clear.
Richard L. Morningstar, the U.S. secretary of state’s special envoy for Eurasian energy, was also initially expected to participate in the event. Although Ambassador Morningstar arrived in Georgia on January 12, he left the country on January 14 without attending the event in Batumi.
“Because of Ambassador Morningstar’s changed schedule he was unable to attend the conference,” a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi told Civil.Ge on January 14.
During his visit, the U.S. Secretary of State’s special envoy “consulted” with President Saakashvili, PM Nika Gilauri and Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri, according to the U.S. embassy.