Irakli Garibashvili Confirmed as New Prime Minister of Georgia; Parliament Approves Cabinet Changes

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Irakli Garibashvili Confirmed as New Prime Minister of Georgia; Parliament Approves Cabinet Changes

PR Newswire

TBILISI, Georgia, Feb. 22, 2021

A Champion of Closer Ties to the US, NATO & EU to Lead Next Chapter in Georgia's European & Euro-Atlantic Integration

TBILISI, Georgia, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Parliament of Georgia today confirmed Irakli Garibashvili as Prime Minister along with a vote of confidence in the cabinet Garibashvili put forward.

First on the agenda, Garibashvili will continue the essential work of the government to ably manage the pandemic and accelerate the focus on rebuilding the economy while continuing to strengthen Georgia's security and democratic institutions. Garibashvili pledged to create a long-term development strategy for Georgia in his first one hundred days in office.

A seasoned leader, Garibashvili's other top priority is finishing what he started in his first term as Prime Minister – implementing the Association Agreement with the EU and finalizing Georgia's application to become a full member of the EU. Garibashvili announced that the cabinet is working on a roadmap that will unify all the reforms required for EU integration.

Garibashvili brings an extensive track record of accomplishments across numerous government agencies. Garibashvili previously served as Prime Minister (2013-2015), Defense Minister (2019-2021), and Minister of Internal Affairs (2012-2013). Throughout his career, he has been a champion of moving Georgia closer to NATO, the European Union, and the United States.

In his remarks, Garibashvili asserted, "We understand that the main challenge today is the pandemic, as well as the economy. Businesses need maximum support and I am fully prepared to be personally involved in any decision-making process related to business incentives and support to create more jobs. We need non-ordinary approaches, more creativity, sharper decisions."

As Prime Minister from 2013 to 2015, he strengthened Georgia's relationship with the US – Georgia's premier strategic partner – and signed Georgia's Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Agreement with the EU. He ushered in numerous reforms including those necessary to achieve visa liberalization with the EU. Under his leadership, Georgia initiated, and the EU-supported, its Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan.

While serving as Defense Minister, he moved quickly to modernize Georgia's military and boost morale among the troops. His tenure saw increased Georgia-US military cooperation contributing to the security of the Black Sea region. Most notably, the Georgian Defense Readiness Program represents a steadfast commitment between the two countries to improve Georgia's combat readiness and further develop a self-sustaining institutional capacity to recruit, train and equip a force prepared to accomplish national and international missions.

As Interior Minister, Garibashvili reformed a ministry plagued by years of civil rights abuses under the UNM-led government by bringing it closer to European standards.

The other changes to the cabinet include Irakli Karseladze as Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure and Juansher Burchuladze replacing Garibashvili as Minister of Defense. Both Karseladze and Burchuladze previously served as Deputy Ministers in their respective ministries. The rest of the cabinet remains the same.

Prime Minister Garibashvili and the cabinet took office immediately following the vote.

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SOURCE Government of Georgia