Maia Panjikidze

Maia Panjikidze. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgia, the government is growing impatient as President Saakashvili has delayed for nine months the confirmation of seven new ambassadors.

Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said Saakashvili has not fulfilled his promise, but National Movement members defend their president by saying the minister is making populist statements.

A few days ago, Panjikidze said that Georgia is without an ambassador in seven countries because Saakashvili hasn’t signed the document to confirm their appointment. The seven countries are: the UK, Germany, China, Bulgaria, Iran, Uzbekistan and Estonia.

The president’s administration has not explained why Saakashvili has still not signed the document. DF Watch tried for two days to get a comment from the administration, but failed to get an official response.

Davit Darchiashivli, MP from the National Movement, told DF Watch that he doesn’t know why the president hasn’t signed the document, but he is sure that ‘the president will have his own reasons and arguments’.

“Mrs Panjikidze is making these statements once a month, instead of respecting the institute of the president and as a minister requested a meeting with the president and find out the reasons. But this is not happening, and the cohabitation has become a parody in Georgia,” he said, referring to the principle that the two opposing power blocs in Georgia must cooperate despite their differences.

Darchiashvili thinks there might be different reasons for the delay, but there needs to be civilized relations to solve the problems.

“But either Ivanishvili or Panjikidze has been told about such things,” he added.

Panjikidze told DF Watch that in the middle of June she raised this question during the session of the Security Council.

She remembered that president told her he was also interested in this issue and that he would call up another session of the Security Council separately to discuss this issue about ambassadors.

“Two months and a half has passed since then and no one has called another session of the Security Council,” the minister remarked. “Accordingly, I expected an initiative to come from their party, but unfortunately there hasn’t, and I thought he has already decided this issue and didn’t plan to discuss this issue with us anymore.”

The minister also said that due to ‘the president’s stubbornness’, many things haven’t been done properly. The process of confirmation of ambassadors has been dragged out for nine months.

March 18, 2013, Saakashvili signed the confirmation of nine new ambassadors, but failed to sign another document confirming seven other ambassadors.

Tedo Japaridze, MP from the Georgian Dream coalition, was appointed as ambassador to the UK, but refused to hold this position because of the president’s failure to sign. Japaridze chairs the foreign affairs committee in parliament.

Under Georgian legislation, the president presents candidates for ambassadors to the parliament after recommendations by the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The parliament confirms ambassadors presented by the president and then the president has to sign it in order to enforce the decision about appointing new ambassadors.