TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is without ambassador in seven countries, because the president has failed to sign their confirmation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze said on Saturday that President Mikheil Saakashvili still hasn’t signed the document to confirm seven ambassadors, and the process has now been delayed for nine months. Countries in which Georgia lack an ambassador are Germany, UK, China, Bulgaria, Iran, Uzbekistan and Estonia.
“This interrupts the functioning of our diplomatic representatives in those countries,” she said.
After the change of government in October 2012, there was a call for replacing ambassadors, some of whom were seen as more ambassadors for the Saakashvili regime than for the country as such. In the first months after Prime Minister Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition came into government, Georgia in effect had two foreign policies; as Saakashvili and Ivanishvili toured Europe in parallel.
Some ambassadors resigned after the end of their term, and parliament had to approve their replacements. But for the appointments to come into force, each decision had to be signed by the president. After nine months, Saakashvili still hasn’t signed nine of the documents to appoint new ambassadors.
18 ambassadors needed replacement in total. The president has signed the approval document for nine of them.