Czech contribution in monitoring COVID-19 in Georgia was invaluable and hugely important” - Georgia’s Health Minister
"Czech contribution in monitoring COVID-19 in Georgia was invaluable and hugely important” - Georgia’s Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze praised the Czech Republic’s contribution during Friday meeting with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska as the Georgian and Czech sides met to discuss various aspects of joint collaboration.
In return, Ambassador Mikyska highlighted Georgia's notable success in dealing with the pandemic, saying that Georgia is "Deservedly considered among the best countries worldwide when it comes to combating COVID-19”.
The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the health sector and the Czech non-governmental organization the Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia, which presented two new projects: “Way to Home: Development of Adult Alternative Social Services in Georgia” and “Support to Primary Healthcare Strengthening in Georgia (Phase II)”, funded with more than 2 million euro from Czech Development Cooperation.
Priorities of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2022
On 1 July 2022, for the second time during the EU membership, Czechia will start its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, said the Czech Ambassador to Georgia, Petr Mikyska.
According to him, on 14 December 2021, the General Affairs Council (GAC) endorsed the so called trio program, of three consecutive presidencies: France, Czechia and Sweden. The trio program was developed at a time when the major challenge for the EU was the post-pandemic recovery. It has therefore been focused on protecting citizens and freedoms, developing the European economic model, building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe and promoting Europe’s interests and values in the world. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has brought the necessity of a fundamental reassessment of the EU priorities and significantly influenced the preparation of the Czech Presidency's priorities. The Czech Presidency will address the urgent security issues while carrying on with the originally identified files such as the green and digital transition of the EU economy.
Motto of the Czech Presidency is “Europe as a task – rethink, rebuild, repower”. Legacy of Václav Havel’s reflection about Europe’s role in a global world at a historical moment of a reshuffled world order and a reminder that Europe is a matter of constant work of every citizen. Havel's slogan also calls for responsibility and proactive decisions based on values and conscience.
The political priorities of the CZ PRES are divided into five cross-sectoral flagship areas. They aim at responding to current challenges, as well as at pursuing the EU's long-term objectives:
1 - Managing refugee crisis and post-war recovery of Ukraine: supporting Ukraine's sovereignty by all available means, promoting EU solidarity, efficiency and flexibility in managing the migration related issues, reaching a consensus on the granting of EU candidate status to Ukraine and contributing to its economic recovery and stability.
2 - Energy security: reducing energy dependency on authoritarian regimes such as Russia, diversifying resources throughout the REPowerEU, mitigating the negative social and economic impacts of high energy prices.
3 – Reinforcement of European defence capacities, incl. cybersecurity: promoting security and defence cooperation with NATO, implementing the Strategic Compass, enhancing a better intra-EU cooperation and strengthening the EU's industrial capacities in strategic areas.
4 - Strategic resilience of EU‘s economy: reducing dependence on hostile regimes, strengthening self-sufficiency and deepening of the internal market of democratic states, accelerating digitization and adapting free market rules to these developments.
5 - Resilience of democratic institutions: safeguarding values of democracy and rule of law, media freedom, transparency, open dialogue with citizens (incl. follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe) – both in online and offline spaces.
Sectoral priorities in the area of external relations:
Promoting a united and effective EU in external relations, building consensus among Member States in coordination with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European External Action Service and the Commission.
Deepening the transatlantic partnership and strengthening relations with other like-minded countries, Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Western Balkans, Indo-Pacific and the Sahel.
Building consensus on granting the candidate status to Ukraine, supporting the European aspirations of the associated countries of the Eastern Neighborhood, achieving concrete progress in the EU enlargement negotiations and supporting the accession process of Western Balkan candidates.
Continuous humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and facilitation of the comprehensive reconstruction initiative (Rebuild Ukraine); promoting the nexus of humanitarian, development and security activities, resilience building, disaster risk reduction and food security.
A calendar of multiple meetings and events to be held in Brussels, Luxembourg and in Czechia has been released. Around two thousand working groups and ambassadorial meetings are planned in Brussels. Czech ministers will chair fifty meetings with their counterparts from EU countries. More than 320 political events will take place in Czechia.
Among the most important of these are 14 informal ministerial Councils and an informal summit of Heads of States and Governments in Prague (date, format and content of the summit tbc). Informal Councils will reflect the priorities of CZ PRES and will be held in the Prague Congress Centre (the summit will be organized in the Prague Castle) to ensure maximum safety of their participants.
The official communication channels: Presidency website www.eu2022.cz, as well as accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and YouTube were launched on 15 June 2022.
Prime Minister’s meeting with Turkey’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Turkey's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia.
The farewell meeting with the Ambassador discussed the good-neighborly relations between the two countries and ways to further their strategic partnership.
The conversation focused on the regional situation and the need to support peace and stability, with emphasis on peace and stability as the preconditions of the region's development and lasting prosperity. The parties also discussed Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili's Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative for the South Caucasus, pointing out that Georgia has always supported peaceful coexistence in the South Caucasus, remaining committed to promoting regional dialogue.
The meeting paid special attention to the economic cooperation between the two countries, underlining ongoing regional projects as clear demonstrations of the effective cooperation and reliable partnership between Georgia and Turkey.
The Head of Government thanked the Turkish Diplomat for her contribution to developing the strategic partnership between Turkey and Georgia, and wished her success in her future professional endeavors.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Follow the Past and Forge Ahead into the Future in order to Compose a New Chapter of FriendshipAmbassador of the People’s Republic of China to Georgia, Zhou QianGeorgia is a precious jewel of the Silk Road. Located in the southern foot of the Caucasus and the east coast of Black Sea, it has been a bridge between the East and West since ancient times. Although separated by mountains and seas, China and Georgia enjoy a longstanding friendship which is well proofed by the ancient Silk Road. Both countries are famous for their splendid culture and beautiful landscape, and the common vision of pursuing peace, independence and development has made our traditional friendship to flourish timelessly and beam with new vitality.On June 9, 1992, China and Georgia formally established diplomatic relations, making China one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with Georgia. Over the past 30 years, China and Georgia have always been good friends enjoying mutual trust and good partners engaged in sincere cooperation. They have worked together to usher the friendly cooperation into the mature period, promoted sound and steady development of bilateral relations, deepened cooperation in various fields, and set a good example of exchanges between countries from different regions and of distinctive sizes and cultures.The foundation built on trust is solid. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have always adhered to the principle of equality and mutual trust, respected each other's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and supported each other's social system and path of development. With the joint efforts of two governments and peoples, the political mutual trust between China and Georgia has continuously getting deepened, laying a solid foundation for cooperation in various fields. The two sides coordinate and cooperate on the international arena, jointly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core, and make positive contributions to world peace and stability.Sincere attitude brings mutual benefit. Both China and Georgia are developing countries, and both are committed to achieving national rejuvenation and prosperity. The two sides have always cooperated sincerely and pursued common development. In the past 30 years, the bilateral trade volume has increased by more than 400 times from the US$3.68 million at the beginning of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Belt and Road initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping is highly compatible with Georgia's national development strategy of establishing itself as a logistics and transportation center between Europe and Asia. The mutual cooperation under the BRI is thriving. Georgia is the first country to sign a free trade agreement with China in the region. Since the agreement came into effect in 2018, it has continuously brought in increasing benefits, the level of bilateral trade liberalization and facilitation has been greatly enhanced and the integration of the interests of two countries expanded. China has become Georgia’s largest export market and is becoming second largest trading partner. High-quality Georgian products such as wine, mineral water and nuts are gradually managing their way into the vast consumer market of China. The China-Europe Railway Express continues to facilitate regional connectivity and injects vitality into the countries along the route, including Georgia. The railway modernization, combined cycle power plant construction and other projects undertaken by Chinese enterprises have played an important role in improving local infrastructure and have become conscientious projects that benefit people's livelihood. Bilateral cooperation in investment, communication, high technology etc. is witnessing broad prospects. The bilateral practical cooperation under the BRI and in various fields will continue to deepen and bring positive results.Sincere friendship is key to inclusiveness and mutual learning. China and Georgia enjoy profound traditional friendship. The two peoples have had the tradition of mutual understanding and mutual learning since ancient times. In recent years, people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Georgia have become closer, cooperation in education, tourism, sports, publishing and other fields has continued to deepen. The Georgian government has incorporated Chinese language into the national education system. The "Chinese language fever" continues to grow vigorously in Georgia. The "Chinese Bridge" competition is becoming more and more popular. The two current two Confucius Institutes and one Confucius Classroom in Georgia have become the base for cultural exchanges and thought collision between the two sides. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia, also known as "God's back garden", became a new popular travel destination for Chinese tourists. The Georgian athletes overcame the obstacles caused by the pandemic to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. They not only improved their results, but also gained the attention and affection of the Chinese audience.Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, China and Georgia have stayed united in these difficult times, supported and helped each other. The two sides have actively cooperated in the fight against the virus, and demonstrated with practical actions that “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. The Georgian people expressed immediate support and solidarity towards China. With the strong support of the Georgian government, the vaccination process of the Chinese citizens residing in Georgia, ‘Spring Sprout’ program was successfully implemented. In the past two years, China has actively shared epidemic prevention and treatment methods with Georgia, and has provided an assistance totaling 200,000 doses of Chinese vaccines, as well as ventilators and other medical supplies and equipment. The two countries have overcome the difficulties together and jointly built a China-Georgian community of shared health.This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Georgia. This is an important year that serves as a link between past and future. The two sides will jointly sum up the successful experience from the development of bilateral relations and make cooperation plans for the next 30 years. China will continue to work with Georgia to uphold the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, deepen pragmatic cooperation, and promote sound, steady and sustainable development of bilateral relations. Standing at a new historical starting point, the Chinese side is willing together with the Georgian side to forge ahead into the future, further deepen political mutual trust, expand the space for cooperation, and jointly write a new chapter of friendly relations between the two countries.Boundless is the ocean where we sail with the wind. China has always regarded Georgia as a good friend and partner. I believe that loaded with the triumphant successes, the Chinese-Georgian ship of friendship will always maintain the correct course in the torrent of the times, moving forward steadily, helping all mankind to escape the shadow of the pandemic and war, and jointly building a world of lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness, inclusiveness, purity and beauty, as well as enabling the two peoples to join hands towards a better future!
Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s Remarks to Media at Batumi State University
Question about the event
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: We are delighted to be here tonight to celebrate 30 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Georgia. I’ve had a chance to visit with some of our partners during the two days I’ve been here so far, but tonight’s reception is to thank our wonderful partners here in Adjara for all of the great work that we’ve been doing together over the last 30 years. There have been some really important initiatives that have helped develop the economy, develop civil society, develop democracy and local governance, as well as security cooperation, and many other areas that we’re working on with our Georgian partners here in the entire region. So, tonight is really our thank you.
Question on Georgia’s EU application and the possibility of receiving candidate status
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: For 30 years, the United States has been working toward Georgia’s full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. Almost everything that we have done and are doing here in Georgia is designed to support the people of Georgia’s desire to be part of the European Union and to be part of NATO. That is what the people of Georgia want, and that is what the United States firmly supports. We have been advocating on behalf of Georgia’s EU candidacy because we want to see Georgia succeed in its European aspirations.
When I hear people say that the United States is working against Georgia or trying to drag Georgia into the war or open a “second front,” that is a hundred percent Russian disinformation. That is absolutely not true. The United States has done everything we can to stop this war, to stop the fighting. Even before hostilities broke open, the United States was the country that was working hardest to prevent this war from happening. We absolutely do not want to see Georgia dragged into this war. In our view, what the European Union – what NATO stands for is peace, stability, prosperity. You can see it in every country you’re in: the stability and prosperity and the peace that come with being part of the Euro-Atlantic community. And we want that for Georgia too. We know that’s what the Georgian people want as well. So, we’re going to continue to be fully committed to Georgia’s sovereignty, to its territorial integrity, and to its desire to be fully integrated into the Euro-Atlantic family of nations.
Question about the Prime Minister’s recent comments
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: I won’t speak on behalf of the Prime Minister, but what I can say is I don’t know anybody in Georgia who wants Georgia to be part of this war. I think everybody in Georgia is – and certainly, the United States is very aware—of what Georgians have gone through and how they are feeling. What’s going on in the outpouring of humanitarian assistance and support for Ukraine is a good indication of where Georgians’ hearts are in this fight. What is really needed is not this fighting amongst Georgians. It’s for Georgians to come together. This is one issue where I would hope Georgia’s leaders could put aside their differences and come together in the interest of this country’s future: in the interest of this country’s stability and prosperity. Unity is what is needed right now, not more fighting: unity. I would love to see Georgians live up to their motto of “dzala ertobashia” that’s what’s needed right now.
New EU ambassador to Georgia appointed: Pawel Herczynski to replace Carl Harzell
On 8 June, EU High Representative Josep Borrell announced the appointment of a new EU ambassador to Georgia, among 31 new heads of EU delegations.
Polish diplomat Pawel Herczynski will replace his Swedish colleague Carl Hartzell.
Pawel Herczynski is currently European External Action Service (EEAS) Managing Director for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) and Crisis Response, and also served as Director for Security and Defence Policy at the EEAS. Prior to that, he was Polish ambassador to the EU Political and Security Committee (PSC).
The new ambassador will be formally appointed once the relevant host country agreements have been received.
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