Georgia has a new National Security Council. Following a period of confusion, when at one point the country had two national security councils, one chaired by the president and one by the prime minister, the new structure is now formed based on changes in the constitution.
The new structure is chaired by the prime minister, and includes the Ministers of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defence and Finance, the Heads of the Intelligence and Security Services and the Head of the Armed Forces.
In a move that was criticised by the opposition, the influential Minister of Interior, Giorgi Gakharia was named as the Secretary of the Council.
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze chaired the first meeting of the Council on Wednesday morning (1 May). Among the issues on the agenda were recent standoffs between security forces and citizens in the Pankisi Gorge, and the dispute with Azerbaijan on the Davit Gareji Monastery which lies in as yet undemarcated section of the border between the two countries.
Apart from the permanent members of the Council, the press service of the Georgian prime minister said that a representative of the president of georgia also attended the meeting.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Georgian prime minister Mamukka Bakhtadze chairing the first meeting of the newly constituted National Security Council on 1 May 2019 (picture courtesy of the press service of the prime minister of Georgia)
"Let us work together constructively because the endeavour is a united and strong Europe," Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs after they confirmed her in the post. She will take up her new role on November 1.
On Monday, 15 July, yet another incident occurred in the vicinity of the David Gareji Monastery which lies on a disputed area of the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. The monastery has turned from a place of worship to a flashpoint, with Georgian religious zealots trying to state their claim on the land as Georgian territory, and Azerbaijani border guards stopping them.