Georgian FM disappointed Tbilisi will miss chance to host delegates of 47 states at CoE ministerial

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has stated that the Georgian government acted in line with the state interests in terms of CoE  ministerial. Photo: Foreign Ministry press office., 26 Feb 2020 - 17:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has stated that as the head of the CoE Council of Ministers he is ‘disappointed’ Georgia missed an ‘unique opportunity’ to host delegates from 47 member states of the Council of Europe in May later this year. 

 He said that the decision for the CoE ministerial to be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi has been made ‘because of state interests,’ to avoid any possible tension in the country caused by the visit of the Russian delegation during the international occasion.

I want to say that we, as the CoE chair country, have acted in line with the regulations of the organisation, our laws and state interests as no one should have been given an opportunity to spark tension, escalation in the country with the use of the event for various political interests,” Zalkaliani said. 

Georgia should have hosted the CoE ministerial as the CoE chair country. Photo:

 He stated that Georgia faces serious challenges and tension in the country is “absolutely unacceptable.” 

 I am sure that the public will understand why we have made the decision [and changed the location for the event].. However, I, as the head of the CoE Committee of Ministers, am very disappointed we missed the opportunity to host the ministerial,” Zalkaliani said. 

 If the ministerial were held in Tbilisi Georgia might have to host the delegates from Russia who had violated the Georgian law on the occupied territories - visited Georgia’s two Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali without any consent from Tbilisi. 

The opposition warned that the arrival of the Russian delegation would spark rallies in Tbilisi, similar to those in the summer of 2019.