Aleksandre Kantaria, Member of the Parliamentary Majority, stated at the plenary session held on 12 June 2013: "Ministers are obliged and forced to attend a session of the National Security Council; however, the Prime Minister is not obliged to attend."

With this statement Aleksandre Kantaria responded to Nugzar Tsiklauri, Member of the Parliamentary Minority.

President Mikheil Saakashvili convened an extraordinary session of the National Security Council on 4 June 2013. The session was held at the Presidential Palace on 5 June and addressed issues related to the moving of the occupation line in Shida Kartli as well as the current situation in the occupied and adjacent territories. Issues related to the non-recognition policy of the occupied territories were also discussed.

The next session of the National Security Council was held on 11 June on the initiative of the President of Georgia. Issues related to the attack against the Georgian military units serving in the ISAF mission and videos containing threats against Georgian troops and citizens as well as associated security issues were discussed during the session.

The Prime Minister has not attended any of the abovementioned sessions. He stated:

“I saw the agenda of the meeting which also includes a video clip that has appeared. Neither of these topics is interesting enough at this point for me to attend the meeting.”

FactCheck

decided to check whether or not  legal obligation obliges members of the National Security Council to attend its meetings.

According to the 2nd

part of  Article 3 under the Organic Law on the National Security Council in Georgia, “the regular statutory attendees of the National Security Council are: the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defence Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs, Finance Minister and the National Security Advisor to the President of Georgia/Secretary of the National Security Council.”

The Article, which determines the obligation of the Ministers and the Prime Minister to attend the meetings of the National Security Council of Georgia, can be found neither in the Organic Law of Georgia nor in any other Regulatory Act. However, authority of the National Security Council and its significance should be taken into consideration as defined by Article 2 under the Organic Law on the National Security Council of Georgia. According to this Article,  the most significant issues of internal and foreign policy are addressed by the National Security Council. Hence, many important issues of national security fall under its authority.

Conclusion

Legal obligation for the National Security Council members to attend the meetings of the Council is not documented anywhere. Therefore, being a member of the National Security Council does not establish a legal obligation towards any member of the Council to attend its meetings. However, due to the high importance of this body to the state, it is a political responsibility of its members to participate in the meetings of the Council.

Accordingly, different obligations regarding the attendance and participation in the sessions of the National Security Council are not imposed on members of the Council. We rate the statement by Aleksandre Kantaria as MOSTLY FALSE.

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