A senior Georgian Dream lawmaker, Tedo Japaridze, who chairs parliamentary committee for foreign affairs, has asked the Foreign Ministry to name someone else instead of him for a vacant ambassadorial post in the UK as his nomination remains stuck for months already with President Saakashvili not making Japaridze’s formal nomination to the Parliament for approval.
“I do not want to be part of this whimsical, senseless political game, because I think it harms Georgia’s foreign policy and the Georgian diplomatic corps,” MP Japaridze said on June 10.
“So I would like to ask the relevant authorities to nominate some other candidate and I hope Mr. President will consider the new nomination more timely and Georgia will at last have an ambassador in this very important country,” said Japaridze, who was Georgia’s ambassador to the U.S. for over seven years till 2002 and served as Foreign Minister for four months in late 2003 and early 2004.
He also said that he wanted to continue working in the Parliament and to help colleagues with foreign policy-related issues from the legislative body.
Since Georgian Dream came into government, the Foreign Ministry has accused the President for multiple times of dragging out nomination of ambassadorial candidates selected by the government. While the President has nominated at least fifteen new ambassadors in recent months, GD says that some candidates, selected by the Foreign Ministry, are still pending formal nomination by the President, among them nominations for diplomatic posts in London and Berlin.
Despite MP Japaridze’s announcement, Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, said on June 10 that she still hopes to see GD lawmaker as Georgia’s new ambassador to London. “It is my huge desire for Tedo Japaridze to take the ambassadorial post,” Panjikidze said. “I hope he will become the ambassador.”
The Foreign Minister also said that at the next session of the National Security Council, which is scheduled for June 11, she would ask the President and his staff to “explain why they are dragging out nominations of new ambassadorial candidates.”