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MPs, Foreign Minister at Odds Again
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Dec.'04 / 14:23

On December 27 a group of parliamentarians from the ruling National Movement party expressed protest regarding a Foreign Ministry’s order, which instructs Georgian embassies abroad to inform the Ministry before providing any information to the Parliament or to any other state structure.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs MP Kote Gabashvili described the order as an attempt by the Foreign Ministry to create obstacles for the parliamentarians in accessing information related to the activites of the different embassies.

However, the Foreign Ministry described this decision as an attempt to coordinate embassies' activities.

“This was done purely for working reasons and does not aim towards restricting the Parliament or any other state structure from obtaining information. For example, what if an embassy fails to implement a request made by Mr. Kote Gabashvili?  Of course in this case, Mr. Gabashvili will demand a response from the Foreign Ministry, which is in charge of the embassies’ activity, and not the particular embassy. That is why we should have full information regarding the kinds of instructions and requests given to our embassies by the [various] Georgian state structures,” Deputy Foreign Minister Giorgi Gomiashvili was quoted by the daily Rezonansi on December 28.

This is the second case wherein parliamentarians, particularly MP Kote Gabashvili, have voiced protest against the Foreign Ministry and, particularly, against Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili.

In September Kote Gabashvili criticized Zourabichvili for, as he put it, inactivity that resulted in Georgia losing its right to vote at the UN. However, during hearings in the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs in October, Zourabichvili proved that the Foreign Ministry did its best to avert this from happening and the incident was over.

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