Georgia names French envoy as foreign minister

12th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

TBILISI, March 11 (AFP) - Georgia's new pro-Western leader Mikhail Saakashvili swept out the last remnants of the past in his cabinet Thursday, appointing as new foreign minister the French ambassador to Tbilisi.

TBILISI, March 11 (AFP) - Georgia's new pro-Western leader Mikhail Saakashvili swept out the last remnants of the past in his cabinet Thursday, appointing as new foreign minister the French ambassador to Tbilisi.

The president announced at a press conference that he had named Salome Zurabishvili, a French citizen born in France in 1952 of Georgian emigrant parents who became French envoy to Georgia last year.

"She made a brilliant career in France but she stayed a Georgian at heart and a true patriot," said Saakashvili.

Saakashvili, a US-educated lawyer who swept to power in a bloodless revolution last year and was elected in a landslide in January, had one old hand left in the cabinet: 58-year-old Tedo Japaridze, as foreign minister.

The ex-Soviet republic's parliament in February approved the appointment of one of the youngest governments in Europe, with the average age of cabinet ministers hovering around 40.

The new cabinet was created in the image of Saakashvili, who became, at the age of 36, Europe's youngest elected head of state.Like Saakashvili, most of the ministers are young, multilingual, have a

Western education and are unsullied by having worked in the administration of his ousted predecessor Eduard Shevardnadze.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

 

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