Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze resigns, 05 Nov 2014 - 13:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze resigned a day after Prime Minister dismissed Defense Minister Irakli Alasania after he criticized the arrests of several Defence Ministry officials as politically motivated and an "attack on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice”.

Panjikidze made a special statement today, Wednesday, at a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry accompanied by her deputy ministers who also stepped down.

Furthermore, Panjikidze also said she was quitting the ruling Georgian Dream coalition as she was a member of the Free Democrats political party whose leader is Alasania. Panjikidze is also Alanasia’s sister-in-law.

"My team and I which is presented here including David Zalkaliani, Tamar Beruchashvili, Levan Gurgenidze and David Jalaghania who is on his official visit to Cuba have decided to step down. We also quit the Georgian Dream coalition. It was a great honour for me to serve as the country’s foreign minister for two years,” Panjikidze said.

"I would like to say without false modesty that over the past two years our team has achieved as much could be achieved in the country’s foreign policy arena.”

"We have been firmly standing in support of the European and Euro Atlantic values. We have achieved considerable success towards all the priorities of the country’s foreign policy. We have created the new qualitative possibility of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.”

She focused on the progress Georgia had made in the past two years regarding the country's foreign policy including the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and a Substantive Package NATO offered at the Wales Summit.

"As we see that not only our future activities, but also achievements made by us are under the threat, we decide to make this decision,” Panjikidze said.

She believed the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration was the choice of the Georgian people.

"These people supported these values and our team in 2012 which was able to and obliged to fulfill that goal, cannot betray this choice of the Georgian people and we could not but demonstrate with this step against those threats which the country is facing.”

After the Foreign Ministry’s team announced their group resignation, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said it was "sad” that Panjikidze "showed her solidarity towards her family, not towards the country”.

Garibashvili said it was expected Panjikidze and Euro-Atlantic Integration Minister Alex Petiashvili – both members of the ex-Defence Minister Alasania’s Free Democrats party – would resign.

"Well, what can we do? It was their decision and their right,” the PM said.

"We will continue to live and to advance.”

Garibashvili highlighted that Georgia’s foreign policy "was irreversible”.

"Ridiculous and naive statements about Georgia’s foreign policy would not influence on it and it will be irreversible. This is our government and country’s firm choice. We will ring this case to the end. Speculations about the country's foreign policy change are their speculations and choice,” Garibashvili stated today.