I Came Here to Build Together a
New-Style European Ministry
Address by Mrs. Salomé Zurabishvili,
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia after being presented by Mikhael
Saakashvili, President of the Republic of Georgia to the Diplomatic Community of
in the Georgian MFA.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Website, Tbilisi,
March 23, 2004.
Zurabishvili ( MFA Photo, Tbilisi)
Greetings to my new and old colleagues.
Today is truly a happy day for me, which I have never hoped
to live up to and of which I have never dreamt before. Earlier, during my office
as Ambassador of France in Georgia, this dream was to a certain extent part of
reality. However, I never hoped this day would ever come true.
The President of Georgia as well as the President of France
have put a great confidence in me by deciding my destiny this way, without even
asking much of my opinion. Perhaps they knew that deep within my heart I would
agree with them, for it is inadmissible not to take your stand by the country
for which your ancestors used to fight and shed blood. I come therefore with a
great infusion of hope. If not this hope that there is a new and real chance for
Georgia to become a contemporary European country, I would never come to
Georgia. I left my children there and a flourishing life. I am not as young as
other ministers and I am here because I believe, not only hope but also believe
that we are in the process of the construction of a new country.
Even in France, where I was part of the diplomatic corps
within 30 years, everyone knows, and the current Minister who is my friend that
I have a very bad temper and I am free in everything. I never do what I don't
want to or what I don't believe in, and I think for this very trait of character
I was nominated.
France gave me its consent and without this consent I would
not come to Georgia. France decorated me with the Order of the Legion of Honor
and appointed me as an Ambassador to Georgia, both the expression of tremendous
trust in me. France sheltered my family during of so many years, for which I owe
it a huge debt of gratitude. I would have never taken such step had it not given
me its express consent.
However, I still remain to be a free person. I have not
received any orders or instructions by anyone. Mr. Chirac himself assured me of
the liberty of all my actions, reminding that behind me stands France wishing to
extend a helping hand to Georgia.
It is not my aim to dismiss or make anyone redundant. To
anyone, who is professional among you and wishes to join me in building this
ministry, I shall offer my cooperation and membership of my team. However, I
want you to know that no one will gain access to the ministry through money or
I shall accept no instructions, nor from the President, who
promised me absolute freedom in the policy of cadres, I don't like this word. I
shall team up with people, probably including my acquaintances and friends whom
I trust and who have proved to me that they are and will remain to be
professionals and with whom I shall do a voluminous array of work.
I would like to promise my old colleagues from the diplomatic
corps that my door will always be open to them. I know how important it is to
work with them in order that further we could build the relations with their
respective countries, of which the President has already spoken. I don't want to
repeat these priorities. Our Ministry is designed to serve these priorities to
insure that Georgia could appear on the international arena as a contemporary
country. When I was leaving France, on November 3, Georgia's image in France and
Europe was far different from what it is now within the time-span of 3-4 months,
which sends an important signal of what can be done in order to keep up this