Georgia will have new ambassadors to France and Israel, the country’s Foreign Ministry announced on August 2.
Tea Katukia will be the new Ambassador to France and Georgia’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO. Katukia had never served in Georgian diplomacy, and the information about her professional career is relatively difficult to verify independently. According to her professional profile on LinkedIn, starting 2012 Katukia serves as Editor-in-Chief of the French magazine „Diplomatie“ owned by Areion24 group.
She is also listed as Director of Editions at Consilde Media Group, which focuses on journalism linked to sustainable development. The same LinkedIn profile lists Katukia as volunteering Director General of the – Centre d’Analyse et de Prévision des Risques Internationaux (CAPRI), a think tank.
Interestingly, all of these establishments were founded or are headed by Alexis Bautzmann, whose LinkedIn profile lists him as the chief of international relations education at the French Army’s main education institution. He has also been special envoy of the French international news channel, France24 during the Russo-Georgian war of 2008.
Lasha Zhvania, the former Chief of President Salome Zurabishvili’s Administration, will be the country’s Ambassador to Israel. Zhvania is well known in Georgia, he served as the manager of the Charitable Foundation of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
He previously had a diplomatic career, was the country’s ambassador to Cyprus in 2006-2008, before entering the Parliament on behalf of the then ruling United National Movement party. He was appointed as the Economy Minister in December 2008, but was dismissed from the post in August 2009, and joined the opposition.