Irakli Kobakhidze and MPs visited the National Library of the Parliament
The Chairman of the Parliament, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze, the Majority Leader, Mr. Archil Talakvadze and the Chair of the Education, Science and Culture Committee, Ms. Mariam Jashi visited the National Library of the Parliament.
The Director of the Library, Giorgi Kekelidze introduced the rehabilitation works in the I Block and the planned projects. The Chairmjan and MPs visited the restoration and conservation laboratory, digital photo chronicles, the hall of the Georgian Literacy Society, media library of French institute of Georgia, Georgian emigration hall, Chabua Amirejibi cabinet and other halls.
In the S. Paolini Italian Library the Chairman was hosted by the Ambassador of Italy, H.E. Antonio Enrico Bartoli.
As the Chairman stated, the Parliament will fully support the Library.
“We had the meeting a week ago. We considered the initiatives envisaging enhancement of the National Library, further development of the resources thereof and we can promise today that the Parliament will support all the initiatives. Each of the initiatives are important for us, for future generations, starting from e-catalogues up to the rural libraries. It is important for constant progress of our country”.
The Embassy of Switzerland welcomes the adoption of the constitutional amendments
The Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia welcomes the adoption of the constitutional amendments and trusts that the new electoral system will increase the representation of the different layers of society, including the minorities, within the new Parliament. Switzerland will assist Georgia to set up a fair and transparent electoral campaign, based on mutual respect and constructive compromise, and calls on all political actors and media to refrain from personal attacks, including against the members of the diplomatic corps.
Azerbaijan celebrates Republic Day: Relying on the roots and confidently looking to the future
Republic Day is a significant date in the life of Azerbaijan. On May 28, 1918, the Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan was proclaimed in the historical Viceroy’s Palace in that time Tiflis. Thus, the centuries-old tradition of statehood of the Azerbaijani people was revived in a new form of secular democratic republic. Becoming the first republic in the Muslim East, Azerbaijan affirmed the equal rights of all its citizens, regardless of gender, religious, ethnic or social affiliation. In the country, earlier than among many leading European nations, women's suffrage was guaranteed. All ethnic groups were represented in the Parliament of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR).
Noteworthy is such an important circumstance as – ADR closely coordinated its efforts in the foreign policy arena with the Georgian Democratic Republic. So, in 1919, our countries concluded a defensive pact against the common threat posed by Denikin’s troops. The independence of both states was de facto recognized by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers under a decision of January 11, 1920. It is truly symbolic that the sketch of the ADR coat of arms, taken as the basis of the current coat of arms of the Republic of Azerbaijan, was proposed by Prince Alexander Shervashidze, who was then in Baku.
Alas, that time global political situation did not allow Azerbaijan to maintain its independence. In April 1920, Baku was occupied by the Red Army. And less than a year later, the Georgian Democratic Republic fell under the blows of the Bolsheviks. All this once again demonstrated that the destinies of our countries are intertwined with history. The successes of one lead to the good of the other. And vice versa, the trouble of one is reflected in the next.
Being a part of the USSR, Azerbaijan also strove to develop friendly contacts with Georgia; outstanding representatives of the intelligentsia of both countries were connected by warm and close relations. Our peoples continued to crave for each other. The crown of this cooperation was the friendship between the leaders of the republics – Heydar Aliyev and Eduard Shevardnadze, whose activities laid the foundations for the restoration of the countries’ independence.
Returning to the leadership in Azerbaijan after the collapse of the Soviet Union and taking the country away from the edge of the abyss in 1993, Heydar Aliyev began to systematically strengthen the foundations of statehood. He became a true architect of the today’s Republic of Azerbaijan, identifying key areas and a strategy for its development. It is no coincidence that the main export pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, the construction of which through the territory of Georgia became the triumph of Heydar Aliyev’s oil diplomacy, is inextricably linked with his name.
Relying on the strong foundation of modern effective statehood, the Republic of Azerbaijan, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, has developed successes in all areas: reducing poverty from almost 45% in 2003 to less than 5% by now, developing social infrastructure, technological modernization, stimulating the non-oil sector, ensuring dynamic stability within the country and strengthening its prestige in the international arena. In this connection, it’s enough to recall at least such momentous events as the election of Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from a group of Eastern European states for 2012-2013 and the country's chairmanship in the Non-Aligned Movement, uniting 120 states, which began in 2019.
Azerbaijan is successfully building up cooperation in all significant vectors: from the European Union to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the Council of Europe, from NATO to UNESCO, etc. Of course, the strengthening of strategic partnership with neighboring countries occupies a special place in the system of priorities, and among them Georgia traditionally plays the role of our closest good neighbor, whose brotherhood has passed the test of the long history and the collisions of the present stage.
Our countries, like a hundred years ago, continue to coordinate their activities, invariably provide mutual support to each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Like a hundred years ago, we have similar problems, we feel common pain. One fifth of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan is under occupation. A fifth of Georgia’s territory has also been occupied.
The people and the state of Azerbaijan are determined to restore international law and justice, to ensure the violated rights of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons who have been subjected to ethnic cleansing in their own country and forcibly expelled from their homes. Strengthening the Azerbaijani state’s power significantly increased the ability to assert its rights and eliminate the consequences of the illegal use of force against it. And everyone can be sure that the success of Azerbaijan in this direction will create conditions for improving the situation in the region as a whole.
Today, celebrating Republic Day, the Azerbaijani people rely on their own strengths and actively use the potential of international cooperation. We are convinced that only by developing a mutually beneficial partnership it’s possible to confidently continue forwarding on the path of progress and prosperity. In its turn, the progress and prosperity of Azerbaijan will always benefit its good neighbors and Georgia, of course, in the first instance.
Press Service of the Embassy
of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Georgia
Congress President’s official visit to Georgia
Strasbourg, 20 February 2020 – The President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Anders Knape, will pay an official visit to Georgia from 22 to 25 February 2020, organised in the framework of the Georgian chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Accompanied by Congress Secretary General Andreas Kiefer, the president will hold meetings with senior representatives of national and local Georgian institutions and authorities. The talks will focus, among other things, on the decentralisation strategy that the Georgian government has just adopted in response, in particular, to the recommendations made by the Congress following its monitoring visit in 2018. Other topics of discussion will be the priorities of the Georgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the Congress's co-operation with the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia (NALAG) and the Congress's co-operation programmes in the country.
In Tbilisi, Anders Knape will meet with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Lasha Darsalia and the Vice-premier and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Mrs Maya Tskitishvili. He will also hold meetings with the Deputy Chairman of Parliament, Mr Kakhaber Kuchava, the Mayor of Tbilisi and the head of the Georgian Delegation to the Congress and President of NALAG, Mr Kakha Kaladze, and the Public Defender, Ms Lomjaria Nino.
Meetings are also scheduled in Gori with the Mayor, Mr Konstantin Tavzarashvili, and the Governor of Shida Kartli region, Mr Giorgi Khojevanishvili.
Meetings with the Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr Irakli Kobakhidze, and with the members of the Georgian delegation to the Congress will complete the visit.
The Congress comprises two chambers: the Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions. It has 324 full and 324 substitute members, who represent more than 150,000 European local and regional authorities.
President of the Congress: Anders Knape (Sweden, EPP/CCE), President of the Chamber of Local Authorities: Xavier Cadoret (France, SOC/G/PD), President of the Chamber of Regions: Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP/CCE).
Political groups: Group of Socialists, Greens and Progressive Democrats (SOC/G/PD), Group of the European Peoples Party (EPP/CCE), Independent Liberal and Democratic Group (ILDG), European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR)
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.
The meeting of Archil Talakvadze with the newly appointed Ambassador of People’s Republic of China
The Speaker, H.E. Archil Talakvadze held the introductory meeting with the newly appointed Ambassador of China to discuss the bilateral relations and the cooperation agenda.
As noted, political, trade-economic, cultural and people-to-people relations are the directions Georgia and China are to adhere to in further cooperation.
The parties dwelt on the Silk Road Project “One Belt One Road”, which is of the strategic importance for Georgia and Georgia, in terms of security, economic integration and infrastructural update is committed for this mission.
The parties touched upon transit and investment capacities of Georgia and stressed importance of inter-Parliamentary ties.
The Ambassador reaffirmed support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and underlined that China strongly respects the choice Georgian people has opted for development. In his turn, the Speaker expressed intact support of Georgia to “One-China” policy.
The Speaker wished good luck to the Ambassador and expressed commitment for close cooperation.