Salome Zurabishvili

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Salome Zurabishvili
სალომე ზურაბიშვილი
Salome Zurabishvili cropped.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
20 March 2004 – 19 October 2005
President Mikheil Saakashvili
Preceded by Tedo Japaridze
Succeeded by Gela Bezhuashvili
Iran Sanctions Committee
In office
11 November 2010 – 10 October 2013
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (UN)
Personal details
Born (1952-03-18) 18 March 1952 (age 66)
Paris, France
Political party Independent (2011-present)
The Way of Georgia (2006-2011)[1]
Spouse(s) Janri Kashia (1993 - 2012 d.)
Alma mater Sciences Po
Columbia University
Salome Zurabishvili in June 2004.

Salome Zurabishvili (Georgian: სალომე ზურაბიშვილი; born 18 March 1952) is a French-born Georgian politician, from 2004 to 2005 Foreign Minister[2] of Georgia and a former diplomat in the French service. Currently she is an independent MP in the Parliament of Georgia. She was the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts assisting the UN Security Council’s Iran Sanctions Committee.[3] Zurabishvili in an independent candidate in the 2018 Georgian presidential election which takes place 28 October 2018.[4] She is supported by the governing Georgian Dream party in the 2018 election.[5]

Salome was born in Paris, into a family of Georgian political emigrants. After graduating from the Paris Institute of Political Studies, Salome Zurabishvili obtained a master's degree from Columbia University in the City of New York. Following a successful career at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she served as the Head of the Division of International and Strategic Issues of National Defence at Secretariat-General for National Defence and Security in 2001-2003. She was appointed the Ambassador of France to Georgia in 2003. In November 2004, Salome Zurabishvili was appointed Foreign Minister of Georgia - Georgian citizenship was granted to her by special decision of the President. This decision was jointly endorsed by the French President Jacques Chirac. [3]

As foreign minister of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili was the main negotiator of the agreement for the withdrawal of Russian military bases of the territory of Georgia, which was signed with Russian MFA Sergey Lavrov on 19 May 2005. During her tenure as Foreign Minister, the "New Group of Friends of Georgia" was created, bringing together Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland to help Georgia's aspirations towards NATO and foster European Integration. In March 2006 Salome Zurabishvili founded political party "The Way of Georgia" and served as the Leader and honorary Chairwoman of the Party until 2010. Following her victory in 2016 Parliamentary Elections, Salome Zurabishvili became an Independent Member of Parliament of Georgia. Georgian Dream, the governing party of Georgia, has expressed its support for Zurabishvili's independent candidacy in the 2018 Georgian presidential election.[6]


Zurabishvili was born in Paris on 18 March 1952, into a family of Georgian political emigrants. She attended some of the most prestigious French schools, such as the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), and began a master's program at Columbia University in New York in the academic year of 1972-1973, taking courses with Zbigniew Brzezinski.[citation needed] She abandoned her studies and joined the French foreign service in 1974, becoming a career diplomat with jobs in Rome, the United Nations, Brussels, Washington, etc. The first time Zurabishvili visited Georgia was in 1986 during a break from her job at the French Embassy in Washington.

Salome Zurabishvili was Head of the Division of International and Strategic Issues of National Defence General Secretariat of France in 2001-2003.[7] She was appointed the Ambassador of France to Georgia in 2003.

Mikhail Saakashvili President of Georgia nominated her as Foreign Minister in his new government and Zurabishvili was the first female to be appointed to this post in Georgia on 18 March 2004.

She was sacked by Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli late on 19 October 2005 after a series of disputes with members of Parliament.[8] She had also been heavily criticized by a number of Georgian ambassadors. Shortly before her dismissal was announced, Zurabishvili resigned from the French foreign service, which had continued to pay her a salary while she was minister, and announced that she would remain in Georgia to go into politics.

In November 2005 she set up the organization Salome Zurabishvili’s Movement. In January 2006 she announced the establishment of a new political party Georgia's Way.

Although Zurabishvili enjoys some degree of reputation in Georgia she has not been able to establish herself in the political field. At the city council elections in Tbilisi on 5 October 2006 only 2.77% of the constituency voted for her party. Six months before an opinion poll conducted by the Georgian weekly Kviris Palitra suggested that she would garner 23.1% of the votes at presidential elections. Since October 2007, her party was part of the United Opposition alliance which nominated Zurabishvili as a Prospective Prime Minister in case of their candidate Levan Gachechiladze's victory in the January 2008 presidential election.

In course of the Georgian presidential election in 2008, Salome Zurabishvili and many other politicians in opposition agreed to the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II's indicated support to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy under the Bagrationi dynasty.[9]

On 12 November 2010, Zurabishvili announced her withdrawal from the leadership of Georgia's Way. She was succeeded by Kakha Seturidze.[10]

On 5 August 2018, Zurabishvili announced that she will participate in Georgian presidential elections. She was supported by Georgian Dream.

Salome Zurabishvili was married to the Georgian journalist Janri Kashia (1940–2012), with two children.

Beside Georgian and French, she speaks English, German, and Italian[citation needed].


  • Salomé Zourabichvili (2006) Une femme pour deux pays. Grasset, ISBN 2-246-69561-9
  • Salomé Zourabichvili (2007) " fermer Yalta", Cahiers de Chaillot, Institut de sécurité de l'Union européenne
  • Salomé Zourabichvili(2008). Les cicatrices des Nations : L'Europe malade de ses frontières. Bourin, ISBN 978-2-84941-075-2
  • Salomé Zourabichvili (2009) " la tragédie géorgienne" . Grasset
  • Salomé Zourabichvili ( 2011) " l'exigence démocratique" Bourin éditeur
Political offices
Preceded by
Tedo Japaridze
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
18 March 2004 – 19 October 2005
Succeeded by
Gela Bezhuashvili