The Head of Georgia’s mission to Geneva has been elected Vice President of UN Human Rights Council
In 2017, representatives of Egypt, Iraq and Switzerland will fulfill the functions of co-vice-presidents. Georgia has been elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the years of 2016-2018.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on disruption of the 51st round of the Geneva International Discussions scheduled on 6-7 October, 2020
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its concern over the disruption of the 51st Round of the Geneva International Discussions by representatives of the Russian Federation. It is noteworthy that considering the aggravated security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, according to the decision by the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, the 51st Round was planned and agreed to be held on 6-7 October this year in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such kind of steps are undermining the entire peace process, and impede the Georgian Government’s and international community’s efforts to solve the problems of the conflict effected population.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the Russian Federation to return to the negotiations, and fulfil its international obligations, including the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeals to the international organisations co-chairing the Geneva International Discussions – the EU, UN and OSCE to take affective measures in order to ensure the resumption of the negotiations within the Geneva format and facilitate achieving tangible progress in the process of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict.
Irakli Kobakhidze elected as Vice President of PACE
Irakli Kobakhidze, a member of the Georgian Parliament, has been elected as Vice President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
The voting was held as part of the Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg today. The Delegation of the Parliament of Georgia, headed by Irakli Kobakhidze, participates in the session.
19 candidates have been elected as Vice Presidents of PACE.
Twenty Vice-Presidents are elected annually at the beginning of an ordinary session and remain in office until the opening of the next session.
As a reminder, Georgia took over the chairmanship of Council of Europe’s (CoE) Committee of Ministers for a six-month term starting November 27.
Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani will deliver a speech at the Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg today.
On January 28, President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili will address Assembly members as well. The Presidents of Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, as well as the Georgian Foreign Minister and President of the Committee of Ministers and the newly-elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe, will address PACE and answer questions.
Debates on the agenda include a complementary joint procedure between the Committee of Ministers and the Assembly in response to a serious violation by a member State of its statutory obligations, the functioning of democratic institutions in Poland, and reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the 48th round of the Geneva International Discussions
The 48th round of the Geneva International Discussions was held on 2-3 July 2019. During the negotiations, imposition by the Russian Federation of the restrictive measures on Georgia and the severe consequences of the closure of the occupation line in Abkhazian region were raised with particular emphasis. The Georgian participants underlined the extreme necessity of de-escalation of the situation in this exacerbated context.
Throughout the negotiations, the representatives of Georgia extensively discussed the security and humanitarian challenges in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as in the areas adjacent to the occupation line, which is a grave result of Russia's illegal occupation and steps towards de-facto annexation.
The Georgian participants raised the issue of Russia’s illegal military build-up and intensified military exercises in the occupied regions. They called upon the Russian Federation to fulfill the obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and withdraw its occupation forces from Georgia’s territory.
Special emphasis was placed on the severe humanitarian impact of the closure of so-called crossing points in Abkhazia region. The Co-Chairs, Co-Moderators and participants from the US and Georgia urged the Russian Federation to take immediate steps for re-opening the occupation line in Abkhazia region.
During the round, installation of barbed wire fences and various artificial barriers along the occupation line, kidnappings and illegal detentions of local population, as well as the restriction of freedom of movement and access to agricultural land plots were discussed, since they lead to further destabilization of the situation on the ground.
Particular attention was paid to the ethnic discrimination and acute humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people residing in Gali and Akhalgori districts, as well as Kodori gorge. The representatives of Georgia once again pointed out the utmost need to ensure that Georgians living in the occupied territories are allowed to get education in their native language.
The important topic of the discussion was the necessity of execution of justice with regard to the cases of murder of Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili. The Georgian participants paid special attention to the death of another citizen of Georgia, Irakli Kvaratskhelia, who died in the custody at the Russian illegal military base, and demanded from the Russian Federation to hand over immediately the materials of the case.
Throughout the negotiations the necessity of restoration of Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) without any precondition was numerously underscored, as it is of crucial importance in light of the existing challenges.
Representatives of Georgia stressed that the Russian Federation must affirm and implement the non-use of force commitment, since Russia continues using force against Georgia through its illegal military presence in Georgia’s occupied territories. The emphasis was made on the need for creation of international security mechanisms in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions in order to achieve sustainable peace and security on the ground.
The participants from Georgia underlined the significance of substantial talks on the topic of safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees, who have been forcibly expelled from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions as a result of ethnic cleansing. However, while discussing this issue, participants from Moscow, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali walked out of the negotiations, which once again demonstrates their destructive and irresponsible attitude towards this humanitarian topic of the agenda.
The next round of Geneva International Discussions will be held on 8-9 October 2019.
Geneva International Discussions were launched on the basis of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. Discussions are held within the frames of two Working Groups, where participants are represented in their individual capacity. In the first Working Group talks are focused on security and stability in the occupied territories of Georgia, while in second Working Group – on humanitarian and human rights situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as on the issues related to safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin. The discussions are held with Co-Chairmanship of the EU, UN and OSCE, and participation of Georgia, the Russian Federation and the USA. The Head of the Provisional Administration of the former South Ossetian Autonomous District and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, as well as the representatives of the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali occupation regimes also attend the Working Groups.
Visa appoints Vira Platonova as Senior Vice President, CISSEE Group Country Manager
Tbilisi – 28 September 2018 - Visa Inc. today announced that Vira Platonova will rejoin the company as Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for Visa CISSEE, effective October 22, 2018. Platonova, who worked for Visa from 2007-2010 in Ukraine, will oversee all Visa operations in seventeen markets across Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Southeast Europe. She will report to Visa’s Regional President of CEMEA, Andrew Torre, and join Visa’s Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) regional management team.
Platonova is a highly experienced executive in the payment systems and retail banking sectors. Her seventeen-year career includes strategy development and implementation, business development and operational management. Vira joins Visa from MasterCard, where she was the General Manager for the company’s representative office in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Central Asia for more than eight years.
“We are delighted to welcome Vira back to our team,” said Andrew Torre, Regional President, CEMEA, for Visa. “Vira brings an enviable record of building strong teams and lasting partnerships across the payments landscape, as well as the strategic leadership that is expected of a global industry leader like Visa. Her appointment is also a signal to the market of our commitment to drive digitization through the delivery of innovative products and services for the benefit of our financial institution clients, cardholders, merchants and government partners.”
“I am excited to rejoin Visa during this exciting milestone in its history, when it celebrates its 60th anniversary. I believe that Visa across CISSEE, as well as globally, is uniquely positioned to help reshape consumer experiences and lead the future of commerce,” said Vira Platonova. “The seventeen markets comprising CISSEE have tremendous potential not only for business growth but also to deploy new technology and business models. I am thrilled that I have the opportunity to come into a great organization, a global leader in payments, with the room to shape the way we think about our future locally, projecting our global ambition to the countries we serve.”
As part of Visa CEMEA’s regional management team, Platonova will also represent CISSEE within the regional and global Visa network, ensuring that best practice from other markets can be offered to the regional payment ecosystem.
About Visa Inc.
isa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com, www.visasoutheasteurope.com, https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE, www.visanewscissee.com
Mike Pence: “We are here today, with the steadfast assurance of the United States of America to tell our friends in Georgia: We are with you!”
“We stand with you because we know the wisdom of that ancient Georgian saying there is -- “strength is in unity.” So in unity, together, we will be strong in arms. The President sent me here to this place, at this time simply to thank all -- thank you for stepping up to serve your nations, for standing in the gap on this great frontier -- united in the defense of freedom. You are the best of us -- heroes all. United States and Georgia are bound together by the abiding oath of friendship and by our shared commitment to the cause of freedom.” – these words were addressed by US Vice President Mike Pens to Georgian and American soldiers which are participating in a multinational exercise "Nobel Partner 2017", at Alekseevka Aviation Base.
In his speech US Vice President underlined the importance of the exercise and mentioned that the strategic partnership between the United States and Georgia is stronger now than ever before: “This joint exercise is a tangible sign of our commitment to each other to make it stronger still. Exercise Noble Partner brings together the Armed Forces of the United States, of Georgia, and many other nations to train together and execute complex operations. Noble Partner will strengthen Georgia’s ability to defend itself in the years ahead. It will prepare Georgian soldiers to join NATO’s Response Force in the future. This exercise is a testament to your professionalism, to the high value that the United States and our NATO allies place on Georgia’s security”.
Mike Pence also recalled Georgian peacekeepers who’ve given their lives in Afghanistan and emphasized that the American people remember their sacrifice and their families on this day.
US Vice President once again expressed support of the United States for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and said that The United States of America, under President Donald Trump, will reject any claim, at any time, by any nation that undermines this enduring principle.
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Defence Minister of Georgia Levan Izoria welcomed Georgian and American military units. “The Armed Forces of our countries are on Georgian soil to defend our dignity, security and freedom. That’s why you are nobles and your partnership is very important for our common well-being,” said Giorgi Margvelashvili.
The Minister of Defence emphasized the importance of multinational exercise and the visit of the US Vice President: “The name Noble Partner has not been randomly selected. This name was deserved by the reliability, contribution and devotion of our soldiers. The visit of the US Vice President is a support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as the support of our democratic development”.
After completing the official part of the event held in the Alekseevka Aviation Base, US Vice President Mike Pence spoke to Georgian and American soldiers personally and took memorable photos.
Mike Pence has completed an official visit to Georgia with a meeting with the participants of "Noble Partner 2017".