Sofio Katsaravas bilateral Meeting in Strasbourg
The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sofio Katsarava holds bilateral meetings in Strasbourg. Today, Sofio Katsarava and Irine Pruidze met with the Head of Austrian Delegation, Gisela WURM. As S. Katsarava noted, the parties emphasized gender equality issues and Gender Equality Council activity of Georgian Parliament.
“We introduced the development of reforming in Georgia. The Austrian MP emphasized gender issues. We provided the information about Gender Equality Council and outlined cooperation plans especially regarding the post-ratification of Istanbul Convention about the ways of cooperation with Austria and how to share their experience”.
According to S. Katsarava, the parties at the meeting with the Head of British Delegation, Sir Roger GALE spoke about the situation on the occupied territories. “British MP showed particular interest about current situation on occupied territories of Georgia. We introduced the information about the human rights state and spoke about ongoing democratic reforms”.
The meeting was attended by the member of Parliamentary Delegation, Nino Goguadze.
At the meeting with the Deputy-Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of Parliament of Portugal, Carlos Alberto GONÇALVES, the parties agreed on enhancement of inter-Parliamentary cooperation.
“We spoke about bilateral relations and agreed on set up of Georgia-Portugal Friendship Group”, - S. Katsarava stated.
The meeting of Sofio Katsarava with the Ambassador of Turkmenistan
The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sofio Katsarava hosted the Ambassador of Turkmenistan, H.E. Dovletmurat Muratov. The parties discussed bilateral visits, inter-Parliamentary relations and Friendship Group action plans, as well as political, economic and cultural cooperation. The parties discussed the details of the events scheduled in the Parliament on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations to be held on June 20.
The meeting was attended by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Head of Georgia-Turkmenistan Friendship Group.
The Parliamentary Delegation visits Hungary with invitation of the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of Hungarian Parliament
The Parliamentary Delegation, headed by the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sofio Katsarava and composed of Giorgi Khatidze, Irakli Mezurnishvili and Giorgi Lomia visits Hungary with invitation of the Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of Hungarian Parliament.
Georgian MPs have already held the high rank meetings with the Chair and members of the Foreign Relations Committee of Hungarian Parliament, Minister of Foreign and Trade Affairs, Chair and members of the European Affairs Committee, Hungary-Georgia Friendship Group Chair and members and the Deputy State Secretary of Defense and Security Policy of the Ministry of Defense.
The parties discussed the priorities of foreign policy and foreign relations of Georgia, considered inter-relation and bilateral and multilateral Parliamentary cooperation. The parties also overviewed politico-economic cooperation and territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. Hungary expressed support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. Hungary confirmed support to foreign policy of Georgia and ongoing reforms. The parties touched upon cooperation in economic, trade and educational spheres and considered tourism potential of Georgia.
“The meetings were productive and interesting we held with our colleagues in Hungarian Parliament. We spoke about cooperation prospects. At the meeting with the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee we spoke about Visegrad Group closer relations after Hungary becomes the presiding country of EU in July. We outlined the plans on enactment of cooperation between Visegrad Foreign Affairs Committees and our Committee. We overviewed our foreign policy priorities and further visa liberalization agenda. Hungary expresses full support in this direction and in reforming for NATO integration”, - S. Katsarava stated.
Europe Day celebrated in Ilia State University
The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sofio Katsarava and the Vice-Speaker, Sergi Kapanadze held the meeting with the students of Ilia State University with participation of the Ambassador of the Netherlands, H.E. Johannes Douma.
The invited guests and the students discussed foreign political course of Georgia, EU aspiration, road so far, challenges, EUAA and progress made by Georgia. The parties also touched upon DCFTA, visa free travel and institutional and legislative harmonization with EU. “We celebrate the Europe Day with the students. We want to be the part of Europe and have the greatest will and sense of unity of identity and values”, - Rector of ISU, Giga Zedania stated.
S. Katsarava spoke about the foreign course of Georgia and introduced the Resolution on Foreign Policy of Georgia and the main directions therein. “We have clearly declared and formulated foreign course – Euro-Atlantic. Our relations with EU are unprecedentedly intensive. Our foreign course envisages EU integration and it is not the declared statement only. It is important for us to strive to at maximal extent approximate with European family and to share all the values we have with European countries to be the part of this family”.
She spoke about visa liberalization success and reforms resulting in visa free travel. She emphasized benefits of visa free travel. “Other than it is the best decision in practical terms, it has the greatest political meaning as well. For EU integration it is another step forward to ensure maximal integration of Georgia to European family. Visa liberalization served as the greatest impetus and motivation for us to do our best for integration”. More than 11 000 citizens have already enjoyed visa free travel and only 26 citizens were banned to enter Schengen due to absence of some documents. “It is the merit the Government contributed managing provision of our citizens with correct and comprehensive information about visa free travel”.
She emphasized economic integration and stated that improvement of economic situation is one of the priorities. “We strive to increase the standards to ensure intensified export of our production to EU market. Economic integration with EU is of utmost importance for Georgia”.
S. Katsarava spoke about importance of education and educated generation and emphasized the programs and projects allowing Georgian citizens studying beyond Georgia. “We hold negotiations with EU member states regarding education in bilateral format to allow Georgian students learning in European Universities”.
She underlined the steps made by the Parliament in EU integration terms. “Our task is to ensure maximal harmonization of Georgian legislation with EU standards”. She emphasized DCFTA and spoke about activities of executive and legislative authorities for EU aspiration. “There are various formats and delegations within which we hold the meetings with our European colleagues to demonstrate the progress we achieved. This was this progress serving the basis for visa liberalization for us, which is a historical achievement. Our Government is mobilized to make the task we declared – foreign policy – tangible for everyone. Any step we make regarding our citizens aims to increase quality of life. Georgia with European quality and standards is we aspire to. I believe that soon we will achieve more on EU integration path”.
As she announced, Georgia celebrates 25 years of diplomatic relations with many countries. “This event is celebrated in the Parliament to underline where Georgia was 25 years ago and were it is now”.
S. Kapanadze touched hereof issues and spoke about neighborhood policy and Eastern Partnership. According to him, the process started long ago expires. “It will be important for Georgia how it can answer the question “what comes next” as it process started long ago now expires. It at some extent depends on the developments in EU today. I would like Georgia to express its will of EU membership. Parliament of Georgia has already declared it though I would like it to state the particular date of appealing for membership”. It would be preferable to have EU commitment to give new format of relations for EaP member states – Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.
“The primary task we assigned is what to do next”. “We have particular attitude to Georgia. When we ask about what Georgia can do next in EU integration terms, the answer is – hard work. We shall find the new format of cooperation and new model of relations”, - the Ambassador stated.
The EU Integration Committee and the Ambassadors of EU member states are to hold the meetings with the students in Tbilisi and other cities during the week on the occasion of Europe Day.
The meetings of Sofio Katsarava in Strasbourg
The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sofio Katsarava visits Strasbourg to in capacity of the member of the Parliamentary Delegation attend PACE Spring Session.
Simultaneously, she holds the meetings with the Parliamentary Delegations of PACE member states. She has already met with the Delegations of Latvia, Estonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium and Lithuania.
At the meetings, she spoke about democratic reforms in Georgia, transmission of the country from monitoring to post-monitoring stage and foreign political course of Georgia. The Parliamentary Delegations confirmed support to foreign policy and democratic reforms of Georgia.
“Within the spring sessions, we are very active. Other than participation in the Session and Committee sittings, which are busy, intensive and interesting, we hold bilateral meetings with other countries. We have already met with the Delegations of Latvia, Estonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium and Lithuania, considered and introduced democratic reforming in Georgia. They confirmed support to our democratic reforms. We also spoke about foreign policy and post-visa liberalization period and our tasks. They support our foreign policy and democratic reforms”.
According to her, the meetings are scheduled with the Delegations of Great Britain, Portugal and Austria.
The sitting of the Foreign Relations Committee
The Committee considered the draft Resolution on Condemnation of Actions by Russian Federation directed to Annexation of Occupied Territories of Georgia, introduced by the Faction “European Georgia” MP, Giorgi Kandelaki. The draft is initiated by Minority Factions: European Georgia, Movement for Freedom – European Georgia and Movement for Freedom – Regions. The document condemns actions by Russian Federation aiming at annexation of occupied territories of Georgia and occupation of Georgian territories, condemns steps by Russian Federation for further integration of occupied territories, including through illegitimate elections and illegal referendum.
The Parliament calls on international community to keep protecting territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and support of NATO integration of Georgia. The Parliament calls on the Government to enact multilateral legal, political, humanitarian and other leverages in international organizations for condemnation of Russian actions, to stop financing media publications maintaining Russian propaganda, to terminate cooperation with the groups dignified with clear anti-Western ideas and opposing EU and NATO integration of the country, as well as undertake all reasonable measures to re-include Georgia issue into the agenda of dialogue of international community with Russia.
The Committee expressed unanimity that the Parliament shall express political position with the draft, though the Majority did not support the draft due to the record regarding the Government. As MPs stated, the text fails to due reflect reality and is not result-oriented. The context thereof does not rely on objective information regarding the activities of the Government in various formats.
As noted, the Parliament will adopt the uniform political resolution clearly formulating the positions of the Parliament regarding Russian aggressive actions aiming at annexation. “We are unanimous regarding occupied territories and actions by Russia. We have the principal discord regarding the Government record in the draft. The fact that the issue shall be re-included into the world political dialogue is not a correct formulation as it is reflected in all statements and resolutions as a result of executive and legislative authorities. It is in the world agenda resulting from the efforts of our Government. So, we cannot support this draft in this form. In the nearest future, we intend to submit the resolution providing pragmatic and rational accents taking the state interests into account”, - the Chair, Sofio Katsarava stated.
“There is no different opinion about our territories occupied by Russia and about developments in Tskhinvali and Abkhazia. Referendum in Tskhinvali is continuation of Russian annexation. The primary task of our team is to ensure support of non-recognition policy in international relations. Results of this policy are crystal clear. Many of our partners in their official documents condemned the recent fact related to referendum in Tskhinvali. It is the result of policy the Government conducts. Expression of Parliamentary position is important and we have the resolution under development to be submitted to the Parliament”, - the First Deputy Chair, Nino Goguadze stated.
The Protocol on Accession of Georgia to the Constituent Agreement of Energy Unions signed on October 14, 2016 was introduced by the Deputy-Energy Minister, Mariam Valishvili. The document defines terms and conditions of implementation of EU legislation on gas, energy, environment, competition and statistics. Accessing the document, Georgia will start implementation of directives up to 2023 concerning: energy and gas supply safety, crisis management, reserves for prevention of oil deficit, formation of competitive and liberal markets, use of renewable energy, environmental protection etc. The Committee supported the draft. The Agreement on Air Traffic between Georgia and Belarus allows air enterprises international air traffic between Georgia and Belarus. Tariffs shall be defined independently by air companies and flight frequency will depend on aviation market needs. “The Agreement facilitates to regular air traffic between two countries, increase of free competition, tourism and improvement of service”, - the Deputy-Energy Minister, Giorgi Cherkezishvili stated. The Committee supported the document.