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MP Bakradze Replaces State Minister Antadze

Davit Bakradze, a senior MP from the ruling National Movement party, has replaced Merab Antadze as state minister for conflict resolution issues, officials confirmed on July 19.

MP Kote Gabashvili, who chairs the parliamentary committee for foreign affairs, said the cabinet change was as a result of ?a new dimension? in the South Ossetian conflict resolution process ? apparently a reference to Dimitri Sanakoev?s Tbilisi-backed administration.

“This new dimension needs new approaches,” Gabashvili told Mze TV, “and I think that it was a very good decision to select Mr. Bakradze for this position.?

He did, however, praise Merab Antadze as ?a very experienced politician? who will continue his political service. ?Antadze was not replaced because he did not work well,” he said. “No, that was not the reason.?

Antadze was appointed deputy foreign minister in charge of relations with Russia ? the position he held before becoming the state minister last July.

The reshuffle comes after President Saakashvili told his government colleagues on July 18 that ?conflict resolution efforts should become much more intensive and efficient.?

He announced plans to set up a government commission to negotiate South Ossetia?s status with the Sanakoev administration and warned cabinet members that ?we have timeframes; so we should work round-the-clock.? 

The change has been greeted skeptically by some opposition lawmakers.

?A change in personalities in the cabinet will not change policy,” Kakha Kukava of the opposition Conservative Party said. “We should change the current tactic and immediately restore direct dialogue with the de facto authorities [in South Ossetia and Abkhazia].?
Davit Bakradze, 35, is chairman of the parliamentary committee for Euro-Atlantic integration issues. He is also a co-chairman of the EU-Georgian Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and in that capacity he contributed to the organization of a visit by Dimitri Sanakoev to Brussels, which was an important part of Tbilisi?s policy of promoting Sanakoev internationally.

Trained in physics, Bakradze joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997 and became chief of the disarmament and arms control unit in the ministry a year later. In 2002 he joined the National Security Council (NSC) and became head of the NSC?s department for foreign policy and conflicts in 2003. He was elected to the parliament through the National Movement party-list in 2004.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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