It Was Just Emotion.
[October 31, 2005]
Georgia's former Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharashvili shares his views on the on the recent firing of Foreign Minister Salome Zurabashvili and subsequent events.
- Usually, foreign ministers serve many years, until the foreign policy of the country changes or the government and all its members are replaced. Georgia's foreign minister Salome Zurabashvili was simply fired from her position. How would you explain that?
- I don't have very much information on it, so I'll give you my opinion. Even though it's hard not to ascribe the firing of a foreign minister to political causes, the firing of Salome Zurabashvili was not inspired by politics. Rather, the immediate cause was the Georgian Parliament's lack of approval for the foreign ministry, which was a result of the work the foreign ministry was doing, and the methods it was using. This extreme decision speaks to the level that the quality of work at the ministry had sunk to, which was simply unacceptable to a parliament in which the majority is made up of supporters of the Georgian president. It seems that warnings and public promises of improvement were not enough to improve the situation. Was the firing the right thing to do, and how will it affect the work of the Foreign Ministry? I don't think the course of foreign policy will change, but the internal life of the ministry will.
- How would you comment on recent events? First, after her resignation, a politician who had never participated in populist events now called on people to protest and released harsh political statements. Second, the next day a multitude of people in Tbilisi responded to her call, even though she had never participated in populist actions before. Does that mean that the "For or Against" syndrome is still in effect?
- Generally, there are many speculations regarding "for or against". The political processes taking place in the Georgian government aren't sufficient reason to talk about future divisions or other complications. This was just an emotional outburst and most probably it will end with the October 20 th protest. Unfortunately, these events are in line with the political culture that has developed in Georgia over the last decade. Outbursts like that happen regularly, but they have little effect. At this moment I have no reason to doubt the stability of Georgia's political infrastructure.
As to why Mrs. Zurabashvili took these steps, I really don't know. Her statements and call to protest supprised me-I didn't expect that of her.Laura Baghdasaryan
Photos by Onnik Grigoryan