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.
Parliament of Georgia Expresses Vote of Confidence to New Government Led By Irakli Garibashvili
The Parliament of Georgia has expressed a vote of confidence to Irakli Garibashvili as Prime Minister of Georgia and the new composition of the Government.
The supreme legislative body of the country has unanimously supported the Government of Georgia led by Irakli Garibashvili and cast 89 votes for the Governmental Program branded as For Building a European State.
Two new portfolio ministers will be joining the new government. Juansher Burchuladze will be the Minister of Defense and Irakli Karseladze will serve as a Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure.
Seven ministers remain unchanged: David Zalkaliani as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gocha Lordkipanidze as a Minister of Justice, Vakhtang Gomelauri as a Minister of Internal Affairs, Natia Turnava as a Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Ivane Matchavariani as a Minister of Finance; Mikheil Chkhenkeli as a Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports; Levan Davitashvili as a Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Statement by President Salome Zourabichvili
Nine months ago, I made a personally difficult and painful decision for society that was aimed at maintaining state stability, and served to defeat a political crisis and polarization.
Unfortunately, polarization, tensions and confrontation continue to increase on a daily basis. Putting the electoral results declared legitimate under question, using any type of disobedience, encouraging social and public protests serve to weaken and destabilize the country.
This can lead to dire consequences - losing public confidence in democratic institutions is tantamount to setting a crushing precedent, not only for us but for democracies stronger than us. Respecting the election result and acknowledging loss is the cornerstone of democracy! The rejection of these democratic principles pleases only those forces, inside and outside the country, who put their political ambitions above the interests of the country and those in the region who perceive Georgia’s stability and democracy as a threat.
Today, I held a meeting with representatives of the diplomatic corps and discussed the current situation in detail. I believe that there is a need for immediate de-escalation of the situation and easing of tensions, which need, first of all, a real constructive dialogue, so that these processes do not damage the stability of the country and its international image.
Through my experience, I am ready to support all forms of dialogue, but I am convinced that compromise is only justified when both sides are ready for constructive dialogue and not when concessions are perceived as weakness, or even more so when it can be seen as someone's own victory. Constructive dialogue is also opposed to the imposition of preconditions and the radicalization of processes.
I, as the guarantor of this country’s independence, sovereignty, Europeanness, democratic development and therefore stability, reflecting on the interests of the country and of every citizen, believe that we will all be victorious through calm and development.
I hope that the Prime Minister-nominee and his future government will be able to end this severe process and will not allow anyone to put personal political ambitions above the country’s interests and endanger those institutions that are the foundation for a democratic and legal state.
"Georgian Dream" nominates Irakli Gharibashvili for premiership
The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party has officially nominated incumbent Defense Minister and previously Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili for the prime ministerial post, GD Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze announced after the meeting of the GD political council on Thursday.
Kobakhidze believes Gharibashvili would successfully lead the Cabinet.
“Irakli Gharibashvili is one of the GD leaders, former Interior Minister, Prime Minister, and current Defence Minister. Paramount reforms were implemented under his management. He is a professional with outstanding experience who can successfully head the government,” Kobakhidze stated.
Earlier today, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation following the court ruling to arrest the Head of the United National Movement opposition party Nika Melia. Gakharia said he failed to reach an agreement with GD over Nika Melia’s case.
Rik Daems, re-elected President, invites members to see PACE as vehicle for upholding shared values
Strasbourg, 25.01.2021 – Rik Daems, re-elected today for a second one-year term as President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), thanked members for their confidence and welcomed the holding of PACE’s first hybrid plenary session.
In his re-investiture speech, he stressed that while PACE’s savoir faire had brought many positive results throughout 2020 – be it the establishment of red lines not to be crossed during the Covid-19 pandemic, new standards in the field of artificial intelligence or the “trialogue” with the Committee of Ministers – the faire savoir was impossible as members could not meet under normal conditions. “Meeting in person is essential to interconnect, to convince and be convinced and to take on board all perspectives,” he added.
Rik Daems called on members not to ask “what the Council of Europe can do for us”, but “to look at what we can do to uphold the values and therefore contribute to the activities and mission of the Council of Europe.”
“Why are we here? Because we care about fundamental rights and freedoms, democracy and the rule of law,” he stressed, inviting all members “to see PACE as a vehicle for upholding the values we share. Common values are more important than our interests.”
“We, members of this Assembly, care about the fact that people are equal. Being equal is not being the same, this is why we are united in diversity. We care about human rights to be enjoyed by all citizens in all our 47 member States.”
“We care that people are free to enjoy and able to pursue their happiness. We care about the fact that no one should be above the law. This is what the rule of law is all about. Because we think, we care, we need to help people to decide. All members should be on board, this is what democracy is about,” he concluded.
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