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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

Statement of the Georgian Foreign Ministry regarding allegations made by Transparency International-Georgia on July 27, 2012

On July 27, Transparency International-Georgia (TI-Georgia) issued a statement criticizing the "politicization" of Georgia's diplomatic service due to the fact that "the Georgian Embassy in the United States has been sending political e-mails to people interested in our country, including influential American scholars and researchers."

A full investigation by the MFA has concluded that the allegations of the "politicization" of the diplomatic service and the misuse of administrative resources are without basis.

The emails in questions did not include any overtly political assessments. Instead, they focused on facts related to the positions of the Georgian political parties on foreign policy matters of national significance for Georgia. As clearly stated in one of the emails, the information it contained aimed at providing relevant information to scholars and researchers "following the discussion with Ambassador John Bass at the Atlantic Council on June 13th." A second email referred to by TI-Georgia had similar content. In no instance did Georgian diplomats offer political assessments of their own to their foreign interlocutors. Neither was the diplomatic service of Georgia advancing the positions of any single political party.

TI-Georgia also alleged misuse of administrative resources by the MFA for political purposes. However, the emails in question were not sent to Georgian citizens, but to foreign experts and researchers who do not take part in Georgian elections. Therefore, the notion that the Ministry misused administrative resources for electoral purposes is without merit.

The Government of Georgia, and therefore the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are entitled to have clearly defined and declared interests and positions on issues of national security and foreign policy - such as on the integration of Georgia into NATO and the protection of the rights of national minorities and other civil liberties. As such, the MFA regularly provides the international community with updates on these important issues, including on the positions of Georgian political parties on these topics. Moreover, Georgia's diplomatic missions are regularly asked by experts, scholars and others to keep them abreast of events in Georgia. In this context, Georgia's diplomats often disseminate relevant factual information, without providing any undue political assessments of their own.

Given the aforementioned it is clear that Georgia's diplomats have not violated Georgian legislation and established diplomatic standards for democracies. The MFA will continue to ensure that its practices conform with established norms of international diplomacy and relevant Georgian legislation, including the Constitution of Georgia and the Georgian Law on Diplomatic Service.

Tbilisi, 9 August 2012

 
 

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