Mamuka Bakhtadze: Democracy is about engagement and it is based on values
As Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze emphasized at the Tbilisi International Conference organized by the McCain Institute and the Economic Policy Research Center, democracy is, above all else, about engagement, the engagement of the government, civil society, and media. Everyone has a role in supporting our young democracy.
Chief Columnist for Financial Time Edward Luce inquired whether the ongoing processes in Europe affect Georgia's choice because European democracy, according to him, is not the same as it used to be. In this context, the panel discussion's moderator cited the events in Poland and Slovakia, and named Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the US president's policy.
According to Mamuka Bakhtadze, political processes do change, but values remain the same.
"Yes. It is a political process and there are some changes but values are still on the table, and these are the values that created this civilization. We are absolutely committed and optimistic about a very bright future of the European family," the Prime Minister underlined.
Prime Minister's Press Office
Turkmen sportsmen win seven medals of the Open MMA Europe Cup
Turkmen team successfully performed at the Open Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Europe Cup in Plock, having won two gold, four silver and one bronze medals.
Student of National Institute of Sports and Tourism Dovran Atayev (up to 77 kg) and Batyr Bayramgeldiyevwho was the best in the weight category up to 61 kg were the champions of the tournament.
Yalkym Nuriyev won the silver in the weigh category up to 70 kg. Two students of National Institute of Sports and Tourism Gulshat Gylyjova (up to 55 kg) and Leyli Kazakova (up to 60 kg) as well as student of Turkmen State Architectural and Construction Institute Jahan Durdiyeva (up to 55 kg) also won silver medals.
Anna Bayramdurdiyeva won the bronze in the weight category up to 84 kg.
Therefore, all seven sportsmen of Turkmenistan national team participating in the tournament won different medals.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
Prime Minister Congratulates Turkey With Republic Day
"Turkey is the largest trade partner for our country" stated Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Reception marking 95th Anniversary of the Republic Day of Turkey.
Head of Government of Georgia congratulated H.E. Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary Ambassador of Turkey to Georgia with the Republic Day and noted that Turkey has overcome a number of challenges throughout these 95 years and transformed into a large economic and political power.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, many regional and historic projects have jointly been implemented by Georgia and Turkey, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars BTK.
"I am thrilled that I have participated in the BTK myself" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Head of Government of Georgia underlined the consistent support of Turkey since Georgia regained its independence.
"We regard Turkey as our strategic friend. At the same time, it is an idea of our international aspirations as Georgia strives to become a fully-fledged member of NATO and Turkey is a great supporter of ours in this endeavor. Hence, Ladies and Gentlemen, I once again wish to congratulate our Turkish friends with the Republic Day and wish them all the best. Friends, I wish you peace and prosperity" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Official Reception was attended by diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia, officials of non-government and international organizations, mass media, political parties and religious authorities.
The authorization board has unlawfully denied the IBSU the right of receiving new contingent of students for one year period
The authorization board has unlawfully denied the International Black Sea University the right of receiving new contingent of students for one year period.
Starting from 2018, the authorization process begun with new standards applied in higher educational institutions operating in Georgia. On April 24-27, the International Black Sea University hosted an expert group headed by Professor Andy Gibbs, an international expert in education from the United Kingdom. As a result of the study analysis and factual circumstances, a team of experts prepared a conclusion according to which the University meets authorization standards: out of seven standards (19 sub-standards) none have been evaluated negatively.
By the decision of the Authorization Board of Higher Educational Institutions of 20 August 2018, the International Black Sea University was granted authorization for 6 years; At the same time, the Board has made a totally illogical and incompatible decision that contradicts the experts’ conclusion; it ignores the positive conclusion of experts and the University is forced to stop accepting the new contingent of students until August 20, 2019. As a result, up to 800 students' choices to study at the International Black Sea University have been ignored, the Board has compelled them to apply to other higher educational institutions. The decision constitutes a threat to students’ legal preferences during two academic years.
The argument for the decision made by the Authorization Board is that the International Black Sea University was imposed a tax penalty in 2013 (the amount of the fine at the current moment is 700 000 GEL and the judicial dispute is still in process). Due to the fine, the property of the university has been sequestered. The university is ready to pay a tax penalty in case of loosing a court dispute. It should be emphasized, that according to the decision of June 4, 2018 of the Revenue Service (# 025-152), sequestration of the university’s property was abolished. The document was submitted to the Authorization Board, however, the Board did not take the mentioned factual circumstance into a consideration.
The Board’s position is groundless and unfair due to the following reasons: Firstly, real estate and other assets of the International Black Sea University greatly exceeds 700,000 GEL; secondly, the decision made by the Authorization Board reduces the revenue of the university up to 2 million GEL only this year (which normally would have been used for various educational purposes). The question is whether or not limiting the university's income is an adequate measure when the Board (unreasonably) considers the material instability to be university’s main problem?
Besides, according to the authorization experts’ report, the university's material and financial resources are in full accordance with the requirements. It is clear, that the Authorization Board ignores a qualified assessment of its local and foreign experts.
The irresponsible decision of the authorization board hinders the development of one of the leading and internationally recognized universities in Georgia which has 23 years of successful academic experience, is known for its graduates' high employment rates and cooperates with more than 60 international universities. Up to 2000 international and local students are currently studying in the university, it employs 400 qualified staff members.
We apply to NGOs and international organizations, diplomatic corps and the whole civil society to support the International Black Sea University in its fight against injustice.
We refer to the Government of Georgia to take appropriate measures in order to prevent the damaging of the country’s international reputation, democratic values, freedom of entrepreneurial activity and to protect the educational sphere from unhealthy influences.
Administration of International Black Sea University
Prime Minister’s Meeting with EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze held a meeting with EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar.
The parties discussed the dire human rights, security, and humanitarian situation in Georgia's occupied territories. Toivo Klaar's upcoming visits to the occupied regions were also discussed.
The meeting reiterated Georgia's commitment to peaceful conflict-resolution policy. Special emphasis was placed on the important role the EU plays in peaceful conflict-resolution as the Co-Chair of the Geneva International Discussions, especially in terms of ensuring the implementation of the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
The EU Monitoring Mission's role in peace-building and the importance of international missions' unrestricted access to the occupied territories were also singled out.
The discussion also underlined the importance of the effective use and empowerment of incident prevention and response mechanisms and various meeting and negotiations formats.
The conversation also revolved around the Georgian Government's peace initiative A Step to a Better Future designed to restore trust between the communities divided by the occupation lines and to ensure peaceful conflict-resolution.
Prime Minister's Press Office
Georgian Prime Minister’s Meeting with Chinese Ambassador
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze held a meeting with Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Georgia Ji Yanchi.
The discussion during the meeting revolved around the relations between Georgia and China across a variety of areas and the growing economic and trade dynamic. The importance of further developing the trade relations between the two countries was underlined.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, China's becoming Georgia's main trade partner is one of the Government's top priorities. The meeting emphasized the necessity of high-level exchange visits between the countries.
Special attention was paid to the significant growth of Chinese investments in Georgia's economy. As the Head of Government pointed out, Chinese companies create additional motivation in terms of attracting foreign investments in Georgia. Emphasis was also placed on China's technological achievements and the importance of sharing technological experience with Georgia. The Prime Minister of Georgia and the Chinese diplomat discussed the Georgian Prime Minister's upcoming visit to China in early November.
Special attention during the meeting was paid to the dire human rights and humanitarian situation in Georgia's occupied regions. The Chinese diplomat reaffirmed firm support of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The conversation during the meeting also involved people-to-people relations and the further development of the historical and cultural relations between the two nations. The Prime Minister of Georgia offered the Chinese Ambassador to open a Chinese cultural center in Georgia.