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Georgia’s PM sacks Defence Minister, Foreign Minister resigns

Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili fired his defence minister on Tuesday hours after he criticised the arrests of several officials in his ministry as politically motivated and aimed at those who favour better relations with the West, Reuters reports.

Alasania, one of the most pro-Western and most popular ministers, had earlier denounced the detention of one former and four serving ministry officials last week, as well as new charges filed against several army medical officers on Tuesday.

“I want to unambiguously state that this is obviously politically motivated,” he told reporters.

“I want to clearly state that this is an attack on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice,” he said, referring to Georgia’s stated interest in joining NATO and its recent trade deal with the European Union.

“This is an attack on the structure, which … is distinguished by its successful reforms and is distinguished on the path of achieving this foreign policy goal,” he said.

Garibashvili called Alasania’s remarks “irresponsible.”

“Instead of contributing to the investigation in order to help establish objective truth in the case, Irakly Alasania’s actions are causing a politicisation of the defence ministry and of the armed forces, which is categorically inadmissible for me and which negatively affects our country’s security and the efficiency of the government’s work,” Garibashvili said.

Alexy Petriashvili, State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and also from the Free Democrats, said after the announcement he would tender his resignation by letter to Garibashvili on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, has filed her resignation on November 5 a day after PM Irakli Garibashvili sacked Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, which was then also followed by stepping down of State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili, civil.ge reports.

First Deputy Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaliani, who was also Georgia’s chief negotiator in the Geneva talks, has also announced about resignation; Zalkaliani is a member of Alasania’s Free Democrats party. Three other deputies of foreign minister – Tamar Beruchashvili; Davit Jalagania and Vladimer Gurgenidze – are also stepping down, Panjikidze said.

 

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