GIORGI GAKHARIA EXPRESSES GRATITUDE TO ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN FOR SUPPORTING EURO-ATLANTIC ASPIRATIONS OF GEORGIA
"European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia is a choice made by the Georgian people and our government is loyal to this cause" stated Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at a meeting with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) held in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen is visiting the country within the scope of an international conference organized by the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) and McCain Institute. Head of Government of Georgia expressed gratitude to the visiting dignitary for supporting European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Georgia.
Discussions were related to the fruitful cooperation with NATO in various directions, including the joint efforts aimed at the increased compatibility of Georgian defense forces and improved defense capabilities of the country.
Former Secretary General of NATO praised the achievements made by Georgia and noted that he will continue to support the country in the process of North-Atlantic integration.
Focus at the meeting was made on the current position in terms of security and challenging humanitarian condition witnessed at the occupied territories of Georgia. Prime Minister of Georgia once again confirmed loyalty of the Government of Georgia towards peaceful resolution of the conflict and peace-building policy at large.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen congratulated Giorgi Gakharia upon his appointment to the position of the Prime Minister of Georgia and wished success in all his future endeavors.
Giorgi Gakharia: Opening the European School is a new step for our system of education and in Georgia-EU relations
The opening of the European School is a very important new step for our system of education and, most importantly, a step forward in the relations between Georgia and the European Union, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated in his speech at today's ceremony marking the beginning of construction of the European School Complex.
The Head of Government expressed gratitude to European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation Johannes Hahn for his special contribution to the initiation of the project.
"This school, and its character, bears witness to the importance of Georgia-EU relations, and the depth of our developing cooperation and partnership. The school's students will propagate the values poised to strengthen this country and eventually turn it into an organic part of the European Union," Giorgi Gakharia emphasized.
The Prime Minister also thanked Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mikheil Batiashvili and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze for their engagement with the project's implementation.
The Prime Minister, together with European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation Johannes Hahn, Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport Mikheil Batiashvili and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, buried a time capsule at the construction of the European School Complex by Lisi Lake. The EU-standard European School with a dorm for 100 students will be built in this territory. The land for the school is allocated by the Tbilisi City Hall.
The European School, unmatched throughout the region, will set a precedent outside the European Union. The establishment of the school is one of the goals of the Eastern Partnership's 20 Deliverables for 2020 under the Eastern Partnership for the EU. The school will offer a multicultural environment and fundamental values-based quality education to students from six partner countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Ukraine-with a view to enhancing their employment opportunities.
INCUMBENT PRIME MINISTER HOLDS HIS FIRST MEETING WITH US ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE
"Further intensified strategic partnership with USA, along with the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia is a solid priority of our foreign policy" stated Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at a meeting with Phil Reeker, US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
At his first official meeting held as a Head of Government of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia focused on intensifying US-Georgia relations in every possible direction, including security and economic cooperation.
Visiting US dignitary clearly voiced the need of further extending and deepening the US-Georgia strategic cooperation.
Significance of continued efforts towards further consolidation and capacity building of democratic institutions was underlined.
Discussions at the meeting were related to the current position in the region, hard conditions witnessed in the occupied regions of Georgia in terms of security and humanitarian needs. Visiting US dignitary expressed concerns about the recent development of events along the occupation line and so called borderization process, thereby noting that USA continues to call upon Russia to honor its commitments.
Prime Minister of Georgia particularly noted his high appreciation towards the solid support of international partners and expressed gratitude to the US Government.
US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs congratulated Giorgi Gakharia upon his appointment to the position of the Prime Minister of Georgia and wished success in all his endeavors.
Prime Minister's Press Office
The Parliament declared the vote of confidence to the recomposed Government
The Parliament declared the vote of confidence to the recomposed Government and the Governmental Program for 2019-2020 with 98 votes. MPs at the plenary session, presided by the Speaker Archil Talakvadze, held the final stage of declaration of vote of confidence to the PM candidate and the Government.
The floor was given to the PM candidate Giorgi Gakharia. “Today, I will try to stress the principal and key values and the main dimensions of the Government. We intend to be mostly oriented on the agenda, outcomes and efficiency as these are set as one main principles and the voice of the people will serve as the main coordination force. Achievement of the outlined tasks requires hard work and cooperation between the Government and the Parliament, including the opposition”.
He introduced the main priorities of the Governmental program stating that efficiency in reasonable terms and good faith are set as the main principles of the Governmental activity.
He stressed countering corruption as one of the gross challenges and emphasized importance of the truth as the citizens shall not be affected by lie and modeled reality. In this context she touched upon the occupation noting that the people supposed to feel at least the silent responsibility for the occupation accuse the Government in assessment of the occupation which is totally inadmissible and the Government shall resist it with the truth. “Justice we have delivered to every citizen in capacity of the truth constitutes the main component allowing us being more exacting towards our opponents and the team members”.
He named domestic and external safety, economic development and human capital development as the priorities the Government will be concentrated on in 2019-2020. Occupation remains the main security challenge, he noted: “When we stay that 20% of the territory is occupied, we shall also underline that 20% of the economy, development and human capital of the country are occupied and it constitutes the greatest security challenge for us”.
The Government intends to resort to every instrument other than the war. He spoke about the foreign policy priorities underlining that EU and NATO integration remain the main course of the country with tangible progress. High social radicalization level was named as one of the challenges for domestic security and Parliamentary democracy, as he noted, is incompatible with such degree of radicalization.
“I cannot accept when the political party considers the freedom of expression and the people directly calling for invasion into the state institution as the storm to the Parliament and refuse to assume even the political responsibility. The political outcomes and change of the political conjuncture shall take place in Georgia no longer as we have the Parliament and the elections in this view”.
He introduced the Governmental views about unemployment problem solution in the reasonable terms and emphasized importance of the free and effective business as the state shall create the equal and acceptable conditions for business development to allow business create more job opportunities and assume the social responsibility towards the employees.
The reporter spoke about infrastructure, foreign trade, effective state resource use, energy safety, agriculture, education, healthcare and pension reforms. “The role and the function of the state is to create the equal conditions for every citizen to equally participate in the progress of the country. The role of the Government is to create every condition for every social strata to jointly carry the responsibility for our future, towards our children and to make the country better than yesterday”.
MPs took the floor for the questions mostly concerning the medicine price regulation, education reform prospects, criminal policy directions, restoration of territorial integrity and de-occupation view in long run, youth and social policy directions, state social aid program and the gaps therein, structural reorganization of the Ministries, projects for the persons with disabilities, Government-business relations, sustainability of the national currency, highland development program etc. G. Gakharia and the candidates for the Ministers delivered the detailed answers. Pursuant to the Rules of Procedure, the plenary was resumed with the statements by the Committees, Factions and MPs.
The Chair of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Sofo Kiladze: “Mr. Gakharia and his Cabinet will be consistent and effective in implementation of the program launched by Mr. Ivanishvili. The PM candidate introduced the system approach and he has already implemented many system reforms on a very responsible positions. That is why I support Mr. Gakharia and his Cabinet”.
The Chair of the Education, Science and Culture Committee, Mariam Jashi: “One of the milestones in the new program envisages human capital development and education reform. On behalf of our Committee, I would like to express our support to the Governmental program. It is paramount that we hold the guarantees for education, wide-scale reform and increased financing”.
The Chair of the Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee, Roman Kakulia: “Unfortunately, there are the politicians trying to apply the forbidden methods to change the Government. I want you to once and forever eliminate these people from the politics and stand by us, or terminate this topic for the society for the upcoming elections. Besides, I would like to hope that you will stop people speaking about pro-Russian orientation of Georgian Dream”.
The Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili: “I would like to wish good luck to the new candidates, Mr. Garibashvili and Mr. Gomelauri, as well as each member of the Cabinet and express my respect and especially to Levan Izoria. We have cooperated for a long time on defense affairs and I am proud to state that the reforms by him were very effective and soon we will see him in the Security Council. The mandatory conscription is very relevant and problematic and as I know, it is already under consideration”.
The Chair of the Legal Issues Committee, Anri Okhanashvili: “Our Committee approved the recomposed Government and declared the vote of confidence. Our support was conditioned with two main factors – the Governmental program based on 4 key principles: construction of the democratic state; economic development; efficiency in restoration of territorial integration and de-occupation; and full integration to EU and NATO; and the second factor lies in the fact that the candidates nominated are capable to successfully fulfill the tasks outlined. Their views and motivation are very convincing”.
The Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Irakli Kovzanadze: “The Government demonstrated the realistic view and orientation to the tasks. Their economic policy is based on macro-economic stability and sustainability of the financial institutions which are of utmost necessity for economic growth, employment and solution of social programs. The PM and Minister candidates hold the best experience in respective spheres, we know each of them and believe that they will show high professionalism in scheduled reforms”.
The Chair of the Sports and Youth Issues Committee, Mikheil Kavelashvili: “The messages you have echoed are very important and the main message implied human capital development, and since the very first day in authority, the people always were the main direction. The messages echoed by Mr. Gakharia make me believe that the new plans and effective implementation are to be expected”.
The Chair of the Diaspora and Caucasus Issues Committee, Beka Odisharia: “Being the Chair of the Committee, let me be sincere in my gratitude to the profile Ministries and their representatives for cooperation resulting for the benefits especially for our compatriots abroad. I also would like to tell the society that we for the first time had the 7-year period in history of independence when no weapons have been clanking which served as an incentive to the weak Georgian economy and tourism. This peaceful process was ensured by the certain people and thus, let me be hopeful that security of the country will be further guaranteed. I do hope that our Government will be the Government for everyone regardless gender, age and confession with the only issue in the agenda – progressive and developed Georgia”.
The Chair of the Health Care and Social Issues Committee, Akaki Zoidze: “In 2016, we have made some significant promises to positively affect every citizen and we are able to fulfill our promise within this one year in healthcare and social directions. The greatest achievement was when we launched the universal healthcare, which saved thousands of the families from physical destruction and poverty. Good initiatives have been introduced and we will see to fulfillment of these initiatives through the Parliamentary oversight”.
Karlo Kopaliani: “The deceiver and the culpable force wished to arrange the coup on June 20 and appropriate the authority by a violent manner. And we should speak about responsibility of the Minister Gakharia if he demonstrated weakness, admitted chaos and failed to protect the state institutions”.
Alexander Kantaria: “This day shall acquire the importance of the starting point in development of our country as it is dictated by the reality. I wish you keep the way of truth and achieve the outcomes”.
Eka Beselia: “Domestic security does lie through the justice system. Besides, external security and freedom of the people also lie through this system similar to the economic and business strength of the country. If this reform fails and we know that it is the last try, and when the list is submitted to the Parliament, then all the reforms lose sense. So, it is the foundation defining all values, reforms and attempts”.
Levan Koberidze: “You spoke about the system and wanted to put the culpable judges under the light of bureaucracy. This was the system entailing revolt of the people and serving as the reason for demolition which should the destructed”.
Legan Gogichaishvili: “You have deviated from democracy and today, allow one hand managing the judge, Parliament and the executive authority. It means breach of the Constitutional principles”.
Beka Natsvlishvili: “Have a good look and maybe you find the basis of poverty and unemployment in your economic policy. Something has to be changed and I offer certain steps”.
The Chair of “Georgian Dream”, Mamuka Mdinaradze: “None of the positions and authorities can be eternal and I will not be artificial if I say that we shall direct our activity to the challenges, including to the possibility to be substituted by the better politicians without the burden of the sins of the past. Mr. Gakharia, I join your position the lie is the problem not the challenge, and if disinformation is not eliminated, we cannot achieve the progress. Hence, unfortunately there is the force in the country with its branches and media means ensuring constant stress and disinformation and psychological violence over the society. Along with occupation and poverty, which are adequately estimated in the Governmental program, we need solutions, which are also provided in the program and that is why we support the Government”.
“National Movement” MP, Nikanor Melia: “History of Georgia continues and you have on your own defined the identity of your personalities and your place in history of Georgia is not the bright and right, is not in morality. Naturally, you have your place in history but totally different and I would be happy not to encounter the necessity of these words. Only future can reveal the real value of the deeds and words”.
“Georgian Dream – for Powerful Georgia” MP, Koba Kobaladze: “I hail that the document provides the detailed view of defense capacity of the country. We all shall defend our homeland and thus, increased defense capacity is the primary task of the country. I hail that the Governmental program provides the conflict solution view, reconciliation and engagement policy mechanisms oriented to the reasonable and consistent policy-making and aiming at support of the conflict-affected population on the both sides of the line, their socio-economic enhancement and restoration of trust between the citizens artificially divided by the wires. Engagement of our international partners in this process is of utmost importance. Besides the defense and security component, I also welcome other priority directions outlined in the program”.
Deputy Chair of “Alliance of Patriots and Social-Democrats”, Ada Marshania: “We have suffered two greatest catastrophes in the recent history. We temporarily lost Sukhumi and Tskhinvali, and the second catastrophe is our attitude towards it. There is not a single plan in the country for restoration of integrity, addressing unemployment and poverty. I believe that this program will be endorsed today but we will not participate in this process due to your culpable policy of cohabitation”.
The Chair of “Georgian Dream – Greens”, Giorgi Gachechiladze: “We heard the National Movement MP speaking, which was the peak of the ideology and the PR-machine NM uses for years – the machine for lies trying to assure the society that they are of the Western orientation and as if we keep our path to the North while Georgia has never been so close to NATO, EU and other international organizations and the USA, while they have conceded everything to Russia – whole economy, territories and facilitated Russia to dominate not only in Georgia but in the region. Mr. Gakharia, let me tell you that the June 20-21 developments are one of the integral parts of the machine of lies. It was an attempt to storm the Parliament in the Parliamentary Republic and I am grateful to you as you prevented destabilization in the country”.
The Chair of “Georgian Dream-Industrials”, Simon Nozadze: “Mr. Gakharia, you have explained the total mechanism of lies used by the National Movement. It is evident that they are afraid of the response and do not want to hear the truth. Their behavior means loyalty to the old rule. The population has witnessed how the National Movement will act if they return. So, it is up to the society to make a conclusion”.
Majority Leader Giorgi Volski: “When the National Movement ruled in the country, every line between the human rights and the Governmental policy has been erased as they were totally ignored – they manipulated only with the figures. The meetings in the villages seem to be a good idea of the Party leader, which was immediately supported by the Government and the Parliament. The meetings have been held allowing us formulating our approaches also to the budget which is to be soon endorsed. The future plans introduced by the PM candidate are the plans that our people and the country need. So, we shall support them not because we are one team and keep our eyes closed to the gaps existent but we shall support them because they are oriented to elimination of the gaps and enhancement of the positive attitude and the strategic plans”.
Majority MP Dimitri Tskitishvili: “Unfortunately, we appeared in the reality when the greatest part of the political opposition has derived from the reality, when we see that the greater part of the political opposition has failed to realize their role as the part of the authority. It is hard to speak about the healthy political process and so, it entails our political responsibility to be adequately critical and let the Government seek for the rational seeds. In this case, we can offer the different role to the Government. As I presume, the vacuum in the society in terms that the one part of the society having the critical opinion can fail to be delivered to the Government and thus, we are to fill this vacuum”.
In the end of the session, the Prime Minister thanked the Parliament for vote of confidence.
The session resumed with the State Anthem.
Georgian Dream names Giorgi Gakharia as candidate for post of Prime Minister
The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia Party named Giorgi Gakharia, Minister of Internal Affairs as the candidate for the post of Prime Minister.
Bidzina Ivanishvili, Chairman of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia Party made the statement after the sitting of the political council and parliamentary majority held at the party’s central office.
Giorgi Gakharia has held the posts of Minister of Internal Affairs and Vice Prime Minister since November 13, 2017. He also serves as Secretary of the National Security Council.
In 2016-2017, Gakharia was the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development. He also held the post of Business Ombudsman in the past.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze quit the post on September 2. Bakhtadze said that he had completed his mission at this stage.
The renewed cabinet of ministers will require the expression of confidence on part of the Georgian Parliament.
Vakhtang Gomelauri is named as the candidate for post of Minister of Internal Affairs, while Irakli Gharibashvili – as a candidate for post of Defense Minister.
Giorgi Gakharia, the candidate for post of Prime Minister made the statement after the sitting of the political council and parliamentary majority held at Georgian Dream party’s central office.
Levan Izoria, current Defense Minister is presented for post of Secretary of the National Security Council.
Vakhtang Gomelauri currently serves as head of State Security Service. Irakli Gharibashvili is the Political Secretary of Georgian Dream’s Party.
Bidzina Ivanishvili, Chairman of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia Party named Giorgi Gakharia, Minister of Internal Affairs as the candidate for post of Prime Minister.
Council of Europe anti-torture Committee visits Georgia
A delegation of the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) carried out a periodic visit to Georgia from 10 to 21 September 2018.
During the visit, the delegation assessed progress made in the implementation of the recommendations made by the CPT following the previous visit in 2014. In this context, the delegation paid particular attention to the treatment of persons in police custody and the situation of prisoners in penitentiary establishments, in particular those in high-risk and semi-open prisons, as well as juvenile inmates. In addition, the delegation carried out visits to several psychiatric hospitals and, for the first time in Georgia, to an immigration detention facility.
In the course of the visit, the delegation held consultations with Tea Tsulukiani, Minister of Justice, Giorgi Gakharia, Minister of Internal Affairs, David Sergeenko, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs, and with several other senior officials from the aforementioned Ministries. In addition, the delegation had meetings with Nino Lomjaria, the Public Defender (Ombudsperson) and staff of the National Preventive Mechanism Department of her Office, as well as with representatives of international and non-governmental organisations active in areas of concern to the CPT.
The visit was carried out by the following members of the CPT:
- Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the CPT (Head of delegation)
- Marzena Ksel, 1st Vice-President of the CPT
- Gergely Fliegauf
- Alexander Minchev
- Ceyhun Qaracayev
- Vytautas Raskauskas.
They were supported by Borys Wόdz (Head of Division) and Natacha De Roeck of the CPT's Secretariat, and assisted by an expert, Clive Meux, forensic psychiatrist, Oxford, United Kingdom.
The delegation visited the following places:
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Temporary Detention Isolator (TDI) in Batumi
- TDI in Dusheti
- TDI in Khashuri
- TDI in Kobuleti
- TDI in Mtskheta
- TDI in Rustavi
- TDI in Samtredia
- TDI in Tbilisi
- Old Tbilisi Police Department Division No. 7
- Temporary Accommodation Centre of the Migration Department, Tbilisi
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice
- Pre-trial and High-Risk Penitentiary Establishment No. 3 (Prison No. 3), Batumi
- Pre-trial and High-Risk Penitentiary Establishment No. 6 (Prison No. 6), Rustavi
- Pre-trial and High-Risk Penitentiary Establishment No. 7 (Prison No. 7), Tbilisi
- Pre-trial and Closed-Type Penitentiary Establishment No. 8 (Prison No. 8), Tbilisi (Gldani)
- Pre-Trial and Closed-Type Penitentiary Establishment No. 9 (Prison No. 9), Tbilisi
- Rehabilitation Establishment for Juveniles No. 11 (Juvenile Prison), Tbilisi (Avchala)
- Semi-Open and Closed-Type Penitentiary Establishment No. 15 (Prison No. 15), Ksani
- Medical Establishment for Pre-trial and Sentenced Inmates No. 18 (Prison Hospital), Tbilisi (Gldani)
Establishments under the responsibility of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs
- Batumi Health Care Centre (Khevalchauri Psychiatric Hospital)
- National Centre of Mental Health named after Academician Bidzina Naneishvili (Kutiri Psychiatric Hospital)
- East Georgia Mental Health Centre (Surami Psychiatric Hospital)