Posts by Tedo Japaridze:

Opinion

Tbilisi and Brussels: tending to the democracy we have fired up

by | Mar 14

Every time someone in Brussels criticizes the Georgian government, a chain reaction begins in Tbilisi.  With specs of truth, the opposition starts a fire designed to scorch the reputation of Georgia, while certain media will provide ventilation. It is not long before the whole

Opinion

Remembering Bob Walsh: A man who brought big ideas to life in Georgia and around the world

by | Mar 10

The Memorial Service, remembering Bob Walsh, will be held on March 11 in Seattle… So today, indeed, is a sad, tough, rough day because Bob Walsh was my friend for 30 years. Maybe it was for even longer, it seemed that he was a part of my entire life.

Opinion

In Memoriam of Sen. John Glenn

by | Dec 24

It is with great regret that we received the news of the passing of Senator John Glenn, a man who best expressed the pioneering spirit of the American nation.

Opinion

In Memoriam: Hans-Dietrich Genscher

by | Apr 4

As Georgia made its first toddler steps in the community of free nations in 1992, Germany was there to help in a period of dramatic institutional, economic, diplomatic, and political transition. And the face of Germany for the world was none other than the patriarch of diplomacy, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who served Europe as much as his country for eighteen years.For nearly one generation, Mr. Genscher expressed a tradition of German diplomacy that identified German interests with Europe’s interests. No doubt, he will be missed. He represented a man who favored conflict management through negotiation, cooperation, dialogue, and consensus building. He had a vision of a unified Germany, in a unified Europe. And he played a part in laying its foundations.In 1992, Genscher was the first foreign minister of a European state to visit Tbilisi and Germany the first state to open an embassy. Eduard Shevardnadze and Hans-Dietrich Genscher had been working shoulder-to-shoulder for the reunification of Germany, and Europe. Their friendship was built on history, but the connection between nations is very often founded on the warmth between people who ...

Opinion

Alexandre (Alika) Rondeli, in memoriam

by | Jun 25

Alexandre Rondeli (Alika for most of his Georgian friends and colleagues) was a charming and talented man, a close friend, a consul, a strategic ally, from the category of “usual suspects”, and, at times, a political opponent. Most of the people who dealt with him called him a “Wise Man of the Caucasus,” at times because he

Opinion

From Europe to the Caucasus: hunting time, then and now

by | Aug 11

There is indeed a civilizational cleavage between “Europe” and the South Caucasus. To encapsulate this cleavage in a single metaphor, one could say it is the difference between youth and age: the European sense of time seems youthful, with the certainty that

Opinion

If NATO delays path to Georgia’s membership, what is the alternative?

by | Jul 30

Alliance’s September summit must offer ‘concrete,’ not ‘token’ help as Georgia faces Russia In the same week that the European Union signed an association agreement with Georgia on June 27, NATO officials meeting in Brussels decided not to offer the country

Opinion

A lost Georgian letter & Europe’s idealist deficit

by | May 30

Recently, I made a discovery of the kind that spices up historians’ books. In my archive, I discovered a draft of a letter by Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the first Georgian President, directed to Secretary James Baker. The date was 1991. These were devastating but hopeful

Opinion

Washington and Tbilisi Are Still On The Same Side

by | Jun 20

For eight years, long before the 2008 war, I served as Ambassador of Georgia to Washington. At the time, the main issue at hand was capacity-building: to think in terms of policies, allocating competencies and tasks, preparing the normative ground, pinpointing

Opinion

NYT picks on an easy target

by | Jun 11

On June 5th, the New York Times was running an article entitled “Taliban Attack Kills 7 Georgian Soldiers in Afghanistan.” Despite the title, the article said very little about the circumstances surrounding this tragic event; it focused mostly on an analysis

Opinion

Foreign Policy or a Battle Cry?

by | Jun 10

What happened in October? The October 2012 parliamentary election gave Georgia a chance for normal development. Needless to say, a government assuming power through violence cannot be democratic. Thus, defeating the National Movement through the ballot box instead of

Opinion

Georgia’s democratic transition

by | Mar 22

I hoped to publish this in an American newspaper during Speaker Usupashvili''s visit to Washington DC, a very successful one, by the way! I wanted Americans to read that message about Georgia and the recent developments there. I did not succeed, but I want to share

Opinion

Why the Bipartisan Foreign Policy Resolution is Significant

by | Mar 9

Adopting a bipartisan resolution on foreign policy in Georgia is significant both in terms of process and in terms of substance. In terms of process, anything bipartisan, in the first experience of a real bipolar party system, not least a cohabitation, should not be

Opinion

What Constitutions are not about and what foreign policy is about

by | Feb 13

Polemical reflections on the UNM's proposal for the constitutionalization of Georgian Foreign Policy Constitutions are binding principles that are non-negotiable in the context of a polity. This is why principles enshrined in a Constitution set minimum benchmarks,

Opinion

Neither Saakashvili nor Ivanishvili is what the West believes

by | Oct 22

For many in the West, Mikheil Saakashvili remains the poster child of the Rose Revolution, an uncompromising promoter of democracy and defender of his country against Russia, and the incoming Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is viewed as a shadowy and authoritarian

Opinion

In Memoriam of Greg Guroff

by | Sep 1

For those of us that retain their curiosity, willingness to fail and to learn, age is measured not in years but in lost friends. I lost a good friend – Greg Guroff. He died of an incurable disease but he fought strong for his life as he did in energetic and rich life – as a diplomat,

Opinion

Is Georgia still on your mind, America?

by | Aug 7

A Letter from Washington DC by Tedo Japaridze, former Georgian foreign minister, political advisor to Bidzina IvanishviliI shall wrap up my blitz visit to Washington DC by tomorrow, a place where I spent more than 8 years as Georgia’s Ambassador to the United

Opinion

Rejoice Gods of Georgian Democracy!

by | Jul 18

Prometheus is in the Cave! by Tedo Japaridze, former foreign minister of Georgia and political advisor to Bidzina Ivanishvili.Last year, the government of Georgia held a session of the cabinet in a grotto named after the mythical martyr of humanity, Prometheus,

Opinion

The Glorious Lies – Where’s that “Georgia”, Mr. President?

by | May 25

The recently delivered speech by Michael Saakasvilli in Princeton University was a wholesome educational experience for every graduate in communication studies, writes Tedo Japaridze, former Foreign Minister of Georgia and an advisor to Bidzina Ivanishvili. Those who

Opinion

The Subtle Art of Realpolitik

by | Mar 12

Guido Westerwelle, a German Foreign Minister, a distinguished and energetic German politician, will soon be visiting Georgia. A visit by the German Foreign Minister in any corner of Europe these days is a significant event, writes former Georgian foreign minister, Ted

Opinion

What are Georgia’s chances of NATO membership?

by | Jan 31

A number of articles and statements have been boosting our hopes that NATO membership is within Georgia’s grasp. There are several arguments made to this effect, some more serious than others, writes Tedo Djapharidze, Georgia's former ambassador to the United States. This rhetoric surely reflects a commitment to this objective, which no one disputes; but there are also reasons to believe that this rhetoric is also contributing to a false perception that the West, like a Deus ex Machina, will descent upon Georgia not merely as a security guarantor, but also as a peace-maker. Somehow, this fantasy seems more related to forthcoming legislative elections rather than “facts.” Most public statements made to this effect point towards NATO membership as a possible “exit strategy” from the current strategic deadlock with Russia and the unacceptable for Georgia status quo. True, Rasmussen, in his recent visit to Georgia (November 2011), verified the fact that the alliance considers South Ossetia and Abkhazia as integral parts of Georgia. However, it requires a huge leap of faith in order to go from support towards the restoration of ...

Opinion

A critical time of choice for Georgia

by | Jan 28

Dear Amb. Yalowitz, I am writing to thank you for your compelling editorial in “Democracy and Freedom Watch” in which you rightly warn that my country is at a critical crossroads with upcoming parliamentary elections.  I too share your concern that free, fair and transparent elections are being threatened by an increasingly authoritarian rule by President Saakashvili who is moving to consolidate his power while at the same time undermining the peaceful and democratic opposition that is being rallied by Bidzina Ivanishvili.  Our hope is that during his meeting with Saakashvili next week, President Obama and other US leaders will clearly and firmly state that the Putin-like moves being engaged by President Saakashvili are of grave concern to the US. These authoritarian moves by President Saakashvili have been confirmed by such independent observers as Human Rights Watch, whose 2012 World Report compared the protests for fair elections and an end to corruption in Georgia and President Saakashvili’s use of excessive force in order to attempt to quell demonstrations in the streets to the protests of the Arab Spring.  These actions are regarded ...

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