The NATO Military Committee has rescheduled a session it planned to hold in Tbilisi at the end of November, Georgia’s envoy to NATO, Gega Mgaloblishvili, confirmed the information to Rustavi 2 TV channel on 8 November.
To a reporter’s question whether that rescheduling is connected to recent arrests in Georgia, Mgaloblishvili has replied that when events of such a scale are postponed that is naturally connected to the situation in the country. According to him, that topic will be discussed in detail next week.
On 7 November, former Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia was arrested for exceeding his official powers in October 2011, when he served as the Defense Minister. Chief of Joint Staff of Georgian Armed Forces, Brigadier-General Giorgi Kalandadze and Commander of the Fourth Brigade Zurab Shamatava were also arrested on same charges that day.
A non-governmental organization, Georgian Association for Reforms (GRASS), founded by former officials Sergi Kapanadze, Elene Khoshtaria and Nodar Kharshiladze, issued a statement in connection with the decision by the NATO Military Committee to postpone its visit to Georgia
“A precedent of postponement of a visit of such a level and significance has not been set so far in the process of Georgia’s NATO integration and that precedent creates a negative dynamics. This is especially alarming when a positive atmosphere for Georgia's integration into NATO was created as a result of conducted [parliamentary] elections,” the statement reads.
GRASS believes that the postponement of military committee visit will adversely affect prospects of important decisions for Georgia at the NATO ministerial in December and the summit in 2014.
“We call on the Georgian government to take all necessary steps to ensure that the visit of the military committee takes place in the nearest future and important decisions for our country are made at the December summit. We, as the non-governmental organization working on the issues of foreign policy and security, are ready to cooperate with the government for achieving this goal,” the statement says.