TBILISI, DFWatch — A visit by NATO’s Military Commission to Georgia has been postponed because of the detention of the head of the general headquarters November 7.
Alexi Petriashvili, State Minister for Euro and Euro Atlantic Integration, said this Friday. His source was Gega Mgaloblishvili, Georgia’s Ambassador to NATO, who saw the cancellation in light of ‘current events’, meaning the detention of Bacho Akhalaia, former Interior Minister, Giorgi Kalanadadze, head of the general headquarters and Zurab Shamatava, commander of the fourth brigade.
Gega Mgaloblishvili says the important visit was planned for the end of November. Military representatives of 28 countries should have arrived in Georgia, but the visit was postponed indefinitely.
“Generally it is a very large scale event, considering that military representatives of 28 countries participate in such a type of visit. It is very unfortunate that the alliance decided to postpone it. When this type of visit is postponed, naturally it is related to the situation in the country,” he reasoned, and added that this issue will be reviewed in detail next week.
The organization called Georgia’s Reform Association, which was recently set up by officials in the former government, immediately responded to this issue and released a statement.
“The democratic election in October has created significant possibilities to make one more step in regards of Georgia’s NATO integration at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in December,” it says. “One of the most important elements to achieve this, was a planned visit of the NATO military committee in November.”
The statement explains that the military committee is the highest military-political leadership and its first visit to Georgia gives an opportunity to strengthen positions and create grounds for a desirable decision at the minister meeting in December.
The organization claims that there hasn’t been any precedent of postponing this type of visit and that it creates a negative dynamic and slows down Georgia’s NATO integration and chances at the 2014 summit.
Alexi Petriashvili Friday explained that this is temporary, until the issue of head of general headquarters has been decided.
The minister expresses hope that a decision will soon be made.
“As the General Headquarters is the main host for the NATO committee, the issue regarding the visit will be solved in the shortest time. There are such important projects between NATO and Georgia, cooperation develops, that there won’t be interruption related to certain misunderstanding.”
He remarked that there is an ongoing cooperation with the NATO leadership to prepare next year’s annual national program.