Facebook and Twitter have a field day with PM’s “greeting” of foreign leaders
04 December, 2015
Facebook and Twitter have a field day with PM’s “greeting” of foreign leaders
Several days ago, following an invitation by French President Francois Hollande, Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili attended a UN conference on climate change. He made a speech at the conference’s opening ceremony, and attended a formal dinner held for the participants, the list of which included many world leaders.

The Governmental Administration published an official note regarding the conference that featured nothing but a list of leaders whom Irakli Gharibashvili greeted and talked to. The list included the U.S. President Barack
Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Turkish President Recep Tayiip Erdogan as well as leaders of Israel, Lithuania, Canada, the Netherlands, Estonia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Panama, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Montenegro, Cyprus, Ireland and Kazakhstan. The “news” has almost immediately become the subject of jeers and mockery from both the opposition and local journalists.geotv.ge

Salome Zurabishvili ex-foreign minister:


“It is a well-known fact that at such conferences, everyone meets, greets and takes photos with everyone. There’s nothing wrong with that and we got used to it long ago. Misha [Mikheil Saakashvili] mastered the art of standing in the right place, entering the room at the right time and using the photo opportunities to perfection, making sure that he did not miss a single handshake… So what? Even today, who cares? A handshake will always remain nothing but a handshake.”

Givi Targamadze, member of the National Movement party:

“On this day, my neighbor Hakim [derisive nickname for Irakli Gharibashvili] greeted a whole 49 awesome foreigners in Paris! They even offered him a 50th foreigner to greet, but he refused, saying that it would just be greedy.

P.S. Looks like the administration could not take the mockery and changed the text of the Facebook post. The photos remained the same, though”

Tamar Chergoleishvili, Editor-in-chief of Tabula:

“All right, he greeted them, we understand. What about bilateral meetings at the summit? Did he have any?”

Inga Grigolia, journalist:

“This is why it is important to have professionals at every single post – at least to ensure that they know what makes the news and what doesn’t. Meetings and greetings are not something special at the international arena. I’ve said many times before that the main problem for high-ranking officials their own PR strategists. I do not think it takes massive brainpower to understand that this piece of news should have never been published the way it was.”

Gogi Gvakharia, movie critic and journalist:

“Excuse me, and why is our PM saying hello to Obama and Merkel funny? Why don’t you be thankful for him not greeting… Putin, for example? Some people not only greet him, but grovel before him and lick his hands. Isn’t this even funnier? What matters here is that he [the PM] is “with the band,” that he put a leg out of his shell, like a turtle. Nothing funny here, us being turtles is old news and no laughing matter.”

Davit Gorgiladze, Public Relations Manager at Free University of Georgia:

“According to the Governmental Administration, after the conference, U.S. President Barack Obama gifted Gharibashvili with a pair of shoes that he no longer wears.”

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