Meeting of CoE Committee of Ministers to be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi
26 February, 2020
Meeting of CoE Committee of Ministers to be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi
The meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will be held in Strasbourg instead of Tbilisi . As Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani told reporters, the decision was made at the meeting of the Deputy Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

“We have an obligation as the chair country to hold the ministerial in accordance with the charter of this organization. At the same time, we had to respect our legislation. We were committed to
ensuring that all members were involved in this event, so we were having consultations to consider all possible scenarios. I want to say that we used all the resources. Yesterday, in Geneva, when I met with the Secretary General, we talked about this topic and they absolutely understand that this ministerial should be held in Strasbourg. I would also like to tell you that there is a similar precedent when the president countries held the ministerial in Strasbourg,” Zalkaliani said.

As the President of the Council of Europe, Georgia was to host the Council of Europe's Ministerial in May and the delegations of the member states of the Organization. According to reports, the Russian delegation will be represented by Sergey Lavrov, who has repeatedly violated the Law on Georgia's Occupied Territories. Part of the Georgian public protested against the possible arrival of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi, which raised the necessity of holding the meeting in Strasbourg.

According to Zalkaliani, the decision was dictated by Georgia's state interests.

"I would like to point out that we have acted in accordance with the charter of this organization, taking into account our laws and state interests, as no force should be allowed to destabilize, escalate, exploit this issue for various political interests. We have very serious challenges, daily challenges, so such development of events was totally unacceptable and we acted in the interest of the state. I am sure that the public will understand all this, but I repeat that I, as the Chairperson (Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe), was very saddened because this would really have been a unique opportunity for our country to host such a high-level meeting," said Davit Zalkaliani.


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