The Georgian parliament yesterday approved President Eduard Shevardnadze’s choice of Colonel Davit Tevzadze as defense minister. Tevzadze replaces Lieutenant-General Vardiko Nadibaidze, who had to resign on April 27 after three years in that post because of security lapses (see The Monitor, April 28).
Tevzadze, an ethnic Georgian born in 1949 in Abkhazia’s capital Sukhumi, holds an advanced degree in social sciences from Tbilisi University. He does not appear to have received a professional military education before joining the fledgling Georgian forces in the 1992-1993 conflict in Abkhazia, during which he received Georgia’s highest award for bravery. Tevzadze commanded an infantry brigade in 1993-94, headed the Defense Ministry’s International Security Department in 1994-96, and served as chief military inspector–the top military post on Shevardnadze’s presidential staff–from 1996 to date. During these years Tevzadze attended training courses at the NATO College in Rome, at a German defense academy, and at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In his address to parliament yesterday, Tevzadze listed his policy priorities as reform and modernization of the armed forces, rejuvenation of the military hierarchy and development of international cooperation to strengthen Georgia’s security. The parliament, including the opposition, appeared particularly pleased by Tevzadze’s Western connections. (Prime News, Radio Tbilisi, Russian agencies, April 27 and 28).
HAIRIKIAN, HOVHANISSIAN APPOINTED TO TOP ARMENIAN POSTS.