President Giorgi Margvelashvili presided over a session of the National Security Council (NSC) on August 1, which was convened to discuss Georgia’s preparation for NATO summit in Wales in September.
PM Irakli Garibashvili was not attending the meeting, although, as NSC Secretary Irina Imerlishvili said, the PM initially had confirmed personally to her intention to attend. But PM’s office said that Garibashvili had never confirmed he would participate.
President Margvelashvili said after the NSC meeting: “I would have been glad if he had attended.”
It was the first meeting of NSC since Margvelashvili became the president in November, 2013.
The role of the NSC, which is chaired by the President whose authorities have been significantly downsized by the constitution that went into force last November, was sidelined by the security and crisis management council, which was established late last year and which is chaired by the Prime Minister.
Parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili; Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze; Defense Minister Irakli Alasania; Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri; State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili; chairman of parliamentary committee for defense and security, GD MP Irakli Sesiashvili, and Georgia’s ambassador to NATO Levan Dolidze participated in the meeting.
President Margvelashvili will be attending the NATO summit in Wales.
At a meeting in June, NATO foreign ministers decided that there will be no membership action plan for Georgia on the agenda of the upcoming NATO summit and instead agreed to offer Georgia a “substantive" package to help the country move further closer to the Alliance.
“Georgia is meeting the summit very well prepared, because we can say for sure that in the context of NATO we have passed very positively through defense and democratic reforms; but a lot of work still remains. We have a very detailed discussion today about the upcoming NATO, as well as the work Georgia has to do in the lead up to the summit,” President Margvelashvili said.
State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alexi Petriashvili, said that the ministers briefed the President about efforts undertaken by the government to “get maximum of possible result” from the NATO summit.
“It is important to achieve a package that would secure stronger cooperation with NATO and that will serve to increasing our country’s self-defense capabilities and a tangible progress on the path of NATO membership,” Petriashvili said.