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Giorgi Gabashvili, Member of the Parliamentary Minority, stated at the plenary session held on 12 June 2013: "We heard a statement from the Prime Minister of Georgia that he will not attend a session of the National Security Council because he does not consider issues on the agenda interesting enough for him."

The MP clarifies that the main topics of discussion at the session of the National Security Council of Georgia held on 11 June were the following: attacks on the Georgian military units serving in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, increased casualties and coordinated actions between different government agencies. The so-called Jihad threat video against Georgian citizens, which was released online on 5 June 2013, was also one of the topics of discussion. In light of all this, Giorgi Gabashvili assesses the Prime Minister’s statement as a manifestation of internal political squabble. The MP wonders what kind of topics should the agenda of the National Security Council include or on what issues should the Ministers, President and Prime Minister convene so that they become interesting enough for Bidzina Ivanishvili. Gabashvili expresses his hope that in future the Prime Minister will become actively interested in the security issues of his citizens.

FactCheck

decided to check the accuracy of the statement made by Giorgi Gabashvili.

On 22 June 2013 the Prime Minister of Georgia told  journalists that he was informed about the agenda of a session of the National Security Council of Georgia and knew that the main issues of discussion were the ISAF mission and the threat-containing online videos. He specified that at this point neither of these two topics was interesting enough for him to attend a session of the Council.

The website of the National Security Council of Georgia released information

that on 11 June 2013 the National Security Council session was held by the initiative of the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, at the Presidential Palace. The National Security Council meeting was held behind closed doors. Based on public information we checked that issues related to the attack on Georgian military units serving in the ISAF international mission in Afghanistan and released videos related to the threats against Georgian troops and citizens as well as general security issues were discussed during the session.

The National Security Council was established by Article 99 of the Constitution of Georgia and it is responsible for strengthening national defence and national security and enhancing stability and the rule of law. It also ensures adoption of the highest political decisions related to security issues. According to the Constitution, the National Security Council is chaired by the President of Georgia. The National Security Advisor of the President who, at the same time, is the Secretary of the National Security Council, directs its activities. The regular statutory attendees of the National Security Council are: the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs, Finance Minister and the Secretary of the National Security Council. The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia also participates in the sessions of the National Security Council. If necessary, other officials are also invited to the session of the National Security Council with the President’s decision.

Attendees from the cabinet at the National Security Council session held on 11 June 2013 were: Maia Panjikidze, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Irakli Gharibashvili, Minister of Internal Affairs, and Irakli Alasania, Defence Minister. Bidzina Ivanishvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, did not attend the abovementioned session.

Conclusion

As we have mentioned, the main topics of discussion at the session of the National Security Council of Georgia held on 11 June were the attacks on the Georgian military units serving in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and the released videos related to the threats against Georgian troops and citizens. For the reason, as claimed, that these issues were not interesting enough for the Prime Minister of Georgia, he did not attend the session of the National Security Council.

Correspondingly, we rate MP Giorgi Gabashvili’s statement: “We heard from the Prime Minister of Georgia that he will not attend a session of the National Security Council, because he does not consider issues on the agenda interesting enough for him,” TRUE.