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"National Movement" puts pressure on Saakashvili?2013-01-17 13:15
Mikheil Saakashvili has signed the demand of the Foreign Maya Panjikidze to dismiss a number of Georgia's ambassadors in different countries. 15 "Saakashvili's personal ambassadors" will be deprived of their offices. Representatives of the "United National Movement" believe that the Panjikidze's initiative was dictated exclusively by the reluctance of the new government to work with other political forces. And the "Georgian Dream" says that the president has dragged out the dismissal of ambassadors, since the "National Movement" puts pressure on him.
According to Maya Panjikidze, the main cause of dismissal of the heads of diplomatic missions is that they "serve the narrow interests of the party of President Saakashvili and "United National Movement".
"Saakashvili's personal ambassadors" - this is how the former Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili has called the heads of diplomatic missions. Zurabishvili was the first who had urged Ivanishvili's government to dismiss the ambassadors, "discrediting" the new government of Georgia.
"Of course, Maya Panjikidze wants to shift the ambassadors for political reasons", representative of the "United National Movement", MP Akaki Bobokhidze said in an interview to the GTimes. "Unfortunately, the "Georgian Dream" has no idea how to work with other political forces at different levels, including the ambassadors of Georgia abroad, appointed by the previous government. Though, I believe the whole government is liable for this, not only the Minister of Foreign Affairs. New government has managed to spoil relations with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. Obviously, the only task of the "Georgian Dream" is the normalization of relations with Russia, although I do not see great strides in this direction", said Bobokhidze.
Representatives of Saakashvili's also mention the recent statements by Maya Panjikidze over Nagorno-Karabakh, she made during a visit to Lithuania. Answering a question, Panjikidze stated the problem could be solved only with preserving the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. "National Movement" urgently demanded Panjikidze to appear in Parliament to clarify this position.
"I believe that members of the parliamentary opposition make very incompetent statements; Panjikidze only reiterated the fact which Georgia has repeatedly stated - that we respect the territorial integrity of neighboring states", representative of the "Georgian Dream", MP Levan Berdzenishvili said in an interview to the GTimes. "I understand their position when they talk about Panjikidze's responsibility and even demand her resignation. "National Movement" is just looking for a scandalous topic, but I can assure you that nobody will dismiss her for the statement made in Lithuania. With regard to the resignation of the ambassadors, I think that the representatives of the "United National Movement" are putting pressure on the president, since he dismissed several ambassadors without problems but dragged out the demand of Maya Panjikidze. However, after the president called us "saboteurs" due to our desire to return the parliament from Kutaisi back to Tbilisi, I'm not surprised by anything", said Berdzenishvili.
After the constitutional changes in 2006, the issue of appointment and removal from office of ambassadors was completely taken over by the president. He even does not need the consent of the Parliament. Panjikidze has already applied to Mikheil Saakashvili with an official letter with the request to dismiss the heads of missions in 17 countries and international organizations. The presidential administration has published the letter containing the names of these ambassadors.