President’s administration released on Monday list of Georgian ambassadors whom Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze wants to be replaced, among them are ambassadors in Berlin, London, Brussels, Beijing and Ankara.
President’s administration released Foreign Minister’s letter, sent late last year to President Saakashvili, requesting him to dismiss about dozen of ambassadors and to replace five others as part of a routine diplomatic rotation.
Only the President has the right to dismiss an ambassador upon a recommendation from Foreign Minister.
Since becoming Foreign Minister, after the new government led by PM Ivanishvili took office in late October, Maia Panjikidze has said for number of times that she submitted list of ambassadors to the National Security Council (NSC) and the President she wanted to be replaced; she has also complained for number of time that the President was dragging out the process.
In early January President’s administration said that Saakashvili would replace ambassadors in several countries; the Foreign Ministry, however, said those changes were applying to those diplomats whose term in office was expiring, but not to those the Foreign Minister was insisting in her letters to the NSC and the President to be dismissed.
The Foreign Ministry has been declining to make public list of ambassadors it wanted to be dismissed; the President’s office released the list on January 14 without specifying whether the President was going to accept the Foreign Ministry’s request or not.
The list includes: Georgia’s ambassador to Germany Gabriela von Habsburg-Lothringen, who was confirmed on the post by the Parliament in November 2009; ambassador to the UK Giorgi Badridze, who was confirmed on the post in December 2008; ambassador to Belgium and the EU Salome Samadashvili, who was confirmed on the post in April 2005.
Others in the list are: Mamuka Zhgenti, permanent representative to the Council of Europe since early 2011; ambassador to China Mamuka Gamkrelidze; ambassador to Turkey Zurab Pataradze, who was confirmed on the post last June; ambassador to Kazakhstan Davit Mumladze; ambassador to Azerbaijan Teimuraz Sharashenidze; ambassador to Lithuania Giorgi Kerdikoshvili; ambassador to Bulgaria Levan Metreveli.
Ambassadors to the United States and the UN, Temur Yakobashvili and Alexander Lomaia, respectively, were also in the list; both of them announced after the October parliamentary elections about their intention to resign.