Prime Minister of Georgia meets with President of Armenia
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. The face-to-face meeting was held as part of the opening ceremony of the new Bagratasheni border checkpoint, which was attended by the Prime Minister of Georgia and the President of Armenia.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili congratulated Serzh Sargsyan on the opening of the Bagratasheni border checkpoint and emphasized the importance of this newly built infrastructure. The parties discussed prospects of further developing the good neighborly relations and bilateral cooperation in different fields.
The discussion also covered the issue of further deepening the transport and energy cooperation between the two countries.
Serzh Sargsyan congratulated Giorgi Kvirikashvili on the ruling team's victory in the parliamentary elections. After the face-to-face meeting, the President of Armenia hosted a working dinner attended by the Prime Minister of Georgia and a Georgian government delegation.
Statements Made Today by Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting
Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. It was stated by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.
As also noted by him, targeted restrictions resulted in a positively declining trend, though 1500 cases a day is still a high indicator for a country like Georgia.
"Almost a year has passed since we all together started a fight against the pandemic and this process continues both domestically and globally. As of today, we have 1177 cases resulting from the targeted restrictions that were imposed to lead to such a positively declining trend over 2 recent months. Nevertheless, we should all understand that in absolute numbers about 1500 COVID-19 cases a day is still a high number for Georgia. Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. We all see what is happening in Europe. Situation is worsening everywhere. Restrictions are getting tighter elsewhere, though we will extend the current restrictions in the country till February 1 in this case" noted Giorgi Gakharia.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, relevant agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Health are actively working with representatives of the real economy and businesses to come up with specific measures and to create a possibility for reopening the economy as early and effectively as possible.
"These are test schemes, matters relating to vaccination and others. The Ministry of Health will be submitting a plan that we worked on together with representatives of real economy and businesses. We will have to slightly adjust our scheme of work for the upcoming phase to make sure that our fight with the epidemic gets successful, enabling us to effectively reopen the economy. We see 3 new priorities in the fight with the pandemic. First one is to adjust the scheme of testing. You may well be aware that the volume of testing has been increased in the country and we should continue doing so. Second and equally important is to maintain targeted restrictions wherever needed, which have served to be effective. Vaccination is of course among our priorities" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
According to the Head of Government of Georgia, citizens will have all the quality vaccines that get authorization by the applicable international organizations.
"A lot of nonsense has been rumoured in relation to vaccination and we cannot even guess where these ideas or information come from. Designated Commission is established on matters related to vaccination, which is led by the Ministry of Health. The Commission has several aims and goals to achieve. First one is to address all the issues related to logistics. You may well be aware that different vaccines have different logistic regimes. Also, everything should be prepared for the readiness of the country to launch the actual vaccination. Second one is to define those target groups that will be vaccinated as a priority in the first instance. Third one is to ensure the supply of quality vaccines of international authorisation as early as possible not only through COVAX platform, but through other means as well. First two goals have already been dealt with by the Ministry of Health and a plan exists. They will be submitting it to the Council on Monday and will be endorsed at the upcoming Executive Government Meeting. Thus, no basis exists for any question marks. I once again stress that citizens of Georgia are to receive all those quality vaccines that will be authorised by applicable international organizations" stated Giorgi Gakharia.
In addition, targeted social assistance of citizens continues and applications are being lodged from individuals, who lost jobs in the second wave of the pandemic.
The Prime Minister of Georgia also explained that social allowances will be paid from January 28, 2021.
"It is 1200 GEL for 6 months. I wish to urge every citizen of the country to lodge their applications as soon as possible. As of today, 45 000 such applications have been uploaded to our portal" noted Giorgi Gakharia.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Georgia has ruled to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. Applicable permission was issued today by the Government to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Executive Government Meeting.
"Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia should be given permission to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. You may well be aware that it has a very important social significance for our citizens living in high terrain regions of the country, especially in winter and especially in Tusheti. Relevant means of mobility should be provided. It has been ensured for years by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with support of the Government and this program continues" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
The Head of Government of Georgia also commented on the recent incidents occurring in Buknari village. In the opinion of Giorgi Gakharia, religious diversity is a wealth of the country and authorities are prepared to act in the most decisive manner every time an attempt occurs causing friction between the citizens of Georgia on religious grounds.
"Religious diversity is a historic reality and it is our wealth. We have been building our statehood over centuries. The Government of Georgia has always been and will remain to be a guarantor for each citizen to exercise their human freedoms and rights as promulgated in the Constitution of Georgia. We will never let anyone to limit human freedoms and rights in any form, though will neither allow anyone to provoke a friction between community members on religious grounds with any unlawful action. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already been instructed on this matter. The State and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia will act in the most decisive manner wherever a slight, plain attempt occurs leading to or provoking a friction between community members on religious grounds" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Prime Minister's Meeting with SOCAR President
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia held a meeting with Rovnag Abdullayev, President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR).
SOCAR's investment projects implemented in Georgia were the key topic of the discussion. The meeting was attended by Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava, General Director of SOCAR Energy Georgia Mahir Mammadov, Head of the SOCAR Investments Department Vagif Aliyev, and Azerbaijan's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Dursun Hasanov.
Face-to-face meeting with the President of Armenia
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a face-to-face meeting with President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, who is on an official visit to Georgia.
The head of the Government thanked the President of Armenia for his visit and emphasized positive dynamics of the good-neighborly relations between the countries throughout many years.
"Dear President, I would like to welcome you. We are glad that you decided to visit Georgia. First of all, I would like to congratulate you with the upcoming New Year and wish you peace and stable development for your country. I am glad that your visit finalizes the year when we celebrated 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. However, our relations count centuries and they have always been as warm and good-neighbourly as they are today. We welcome the growing dynamics of our bilateral relations. Welcome!" - Giorgi Kvirikashvili addressed Serzh Sargsyan.
The President of Armenia thanked the Prime Minister of Georgia for the warm welcome and expressed his hopes for deepening the relations between the countries.
"Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for this warm welcome. I am sure that high-level meeting will have solely positive effect on the ever-growing relations between our countries. The path undertaken in last millennium bounds and obliges us to serve our nations throughout the period entrusted to us in a decent manner. I would like to wish Georgian people a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and wish them patience, optimism, since we have no other choice, we have to develop even further," - the President of Armenia noted.
The parties discussed bilateral relations across various fields as well as an official visit of Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili to Armenia, which is scheduled in the near future.
Prime Minister of Georgia met with US Vice President Mike Pence
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with US Vice President Mike Pence at the White House. The main topic of discussion of the meeting was the Georgia-U.S. strategic partnership. The Georgian delegation received assurances from Vice President Pence on deepening the strategic partnership in all fields, including: defense and security cooperation, trade and economic relations, development of democratic institutions, and cultural relations. Vice President Pence expressed his appreciation for Prime Minister Kvirikashvili's leadership in carrying out ongoing reforms in Georgia. The Vice President also reaffirmed the White House's full support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The Vice President also stated that the United States will continue supporting Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Prime Minister Kvirikashvili and Vice President Pence also discussed regional challenges and global security issues, agreeing that a secure and stable Georgia is crucial for the whole region. The parties emphasized the importance of deepening trade and economic relations, including the role of U.S. companies involved in Georgia's strategic infrastructure projects. The parties agreed that in the future Georgia and the United States will continue active cooperation in political, economic, cultural, and humanitarian fields.
Three New Plants to Open in Georgia
At today's meeting, the Government will make a decision on opening three new plants in Georgia.
Under the Produce in Georgia program, a building material factory will open in the village of Aghdgomliantkari, Mtskheta Municipality (1,300,000 GEL in investment).
A hazelnut and bay laurel processing plant will be established in Kveda Chkhorotzku, Chkhorotzku Municipality (130,000 GEL in investments).
Under the program for supporting tea production, a tea processing plant will be created in the village of Nagomari, Ozurgeti Municipality, and the implementing company will receive 25 hectares of land to lease.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, the creation of each of these plants is of crucial importance, because these projects initiated by the Government enable people to start their own businesses and employ dozens of local residents.
"These are vitally important projects in terms of ensuring local production potential, and the state continues its efforts in this direction. Importantly, we should always remember that this local potential will never work unless we all, Georgia's population, fathom that purchasing local products leads to additional incomes for Georgian households, a hot meal in the family of a local employee, a parent bringing home goods after hours. We should always remember this link when buying local products," Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.