Georgia’s President postpones Belgium visit to host Security Council meeting

Parliament Speaker Usupashvili will travel to Belgium instead of President Margvelashvili on October 28., 24 Oct 2014 - 13:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia will be represented at a special event in Belgium marking the 100th anniversary of World War I by Georgia’s Parliament Speaker after the country’s President decided to remain in Georgia and host an important National Security Council meeting.

This information was shared by Georgia’s Ambassador to Belgium Natalie Sabanadze, who noted that President Giorgi Margvelashvili was due to attend the Belgium event but decided not to as the National Security Council meeting would be held the same day.

Earlier, the Georgian President announced a National Security Council meeting would be held on October 28, where officials will discuss the Kremlin-proposed ‘Alliance and Integration’ treaty Russia aimed to form with Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia.

Sabanadze noted that the Georgian Embassy to Belgium had informed Leuven University in Belgium, where Margvelashvili was due to speak, that the Georgian official’s visit had been cancelled due to a political crisis in Georgia.

The Ambassador noted that the term ‘political crisis’ was the term used by the university to interpret the situation.

"This is the University’s interpretation and not of our Embassy. Mr. President was planning to deliver a speech at this University. The Embassy contacted the University and said the same as I told you now, that a National Security Council meeting will be held and that a significant development took place between Georgia and Russia. The University decided that this was a political crisis,” Sabanadze said.

The Ambassador noted that the Embassy had been informed about the cancellation of the meeting by the President’s Administration on October 18, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani also responded to the issue and noted President Margvelashvili’s visit had not been cancelled but postponed due to his decision to hold the National Security Council meeting.

"I would not say that the President’s visit has been cancelled. The President postponed it,” Zalkaliani stated.

"This was a bilateral visit and not a visit within the European Union. With the initiative of Belgium, events are being held due to the 100th anniversary of World War I. The President considered he should hold a Security Council meeting and this information has been officially passed to the Belgian side. As you know, [Georgia’s] Parliament Speaker will travel to Belgium instead of him,” Zalkaliani noted.