PM Kvirikashvili: “Defence Ministry must be depoliticised”

Giorgi Kvirikashvili introduced the country’s new Defence Minister, Levan Izoria, to Defence Ministry staff this morning. Photo by PM’s press office, 02 Aug 2016 - 13:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Defence Ministry must be depoliticised and far from political affiliation or confrontation, says Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

This morning Kvirikashvili introduced the country’s new Defence Minister, Levan Izoria, to Defence Ministry staff and told them protecting Georgia’s territory and developing the country’s defensive capacity remained one of the top priorities of the country.

"For us it is very important the army and military structures to be far away from political confrontations and this agency must be fully depoliticised,” Kvirikashvili told Georgia’s top military leaders.

"I’m confident that we will achieve this,” he added.
"The Defence Ministry is the agency where it should be felt that the country is united.”

PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili sits at the head of the table (fourth from left) with the new Defence Minister Levan Izoria. Photo by the PM's press office.

Kvirikashvili went on to introduce the new Defence Minister, who replaced Tinatin Khidasheli in the role. Kvirikashvili stressed Izoria was "highly professional” and a "patriot” of Georgia, and he would do his best together with the rest of Cabinet to enhance Georgia’s self-defence capability.

The PM named two factors that he believed was most important for Georgia to develop a stronger defence ability:

  1. Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration;
  2. The recent defence deal signed with the United States (US).

"I’m sure Mr. Levan will successfully lead the Ministry but he will need the support from us all,” Kvirikashvili said.

"I’m sure we will be able to implement very important reforms at the Ministry and I think nobody doubts that the agency needs to be reformed and strengthened.”

Izoria addressed the Ministry personnel and said he would focus on two directions: intensifying Georgia’s defence ability and avoiding risks trough Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

The new Minister added that efforts would be made to achieve peace within the country and to also strengthen the country’s self-defence through cooperation with partners like NATO and the US. This partnership would only seek to enhance Georgia’s abilities and were not directed against any other party.

"Our policy will not contain any danger for others but will be oriented on boosting [Georgia’s] self-defence,” Izoria said.

Prime Minister Kvirikashvili named Izoria as the new Defence Minister yesterday. The post became vacant after outgoing Defence Minister Khidasheli decided to step down so she could represent the Republican Party at the October 8 Parliamentary Elections.