On September 10, the Brookings Institution hosted H.E. Gela Bezhuashvili, minister of foreign affairs of Georgia, for a discussion of domestic and foreign policy developments in Georgia. The session provided an opportunity to explore Georgia’s relations with the U.S.; its democratic transformation; prospects for furthering its integration into the Euro-Atlantic community; diplomacy with Russia; and regional issues.
Minister Bezhuashvili’s career in public service began in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he served as Envoy Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of Georgia to the Republic of Kazakhstan (1993-1996) and as Director of the Ministry’s International Legal Department (1997-2000). He was appointed Deputy Defense Minister of Georgia in 2000. In 2004 he became the first civilian Defense Minister of Georgia. From 2004-2005 he served as Assistant to the President of Georgia on National Security Issues and Secretary of the National Security Council.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott introduced Foreign Minister Bezhuashvili. Daniel Benjamin, senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe, moderated a question and answer session at the conclusion of his remarks.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.