David Zalkaliani held a telephone conversation with U.S Senator
Today, I had a very good conversation with U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen. We discussed all key issues of the U.S.- Georgia strategic partnership, as well as the ways to enhance our robust cooperation. Our strategic partnership is at the highest level and is based on common values and shared geostrategic interests.
I thanked Senator Van Hollen for U.S. Senate’s support to our country in light of progress made by Georgia in the process of democratic consolidation. Senator emphasized Georgia’s significant contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. We expressed readiness to continue working together in order to further strengthen our strategic partnership.
We have also discussed Russia’s continuous occupation of, and the difficult security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. The Senator once again reiterated the bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.
David Zalkaliani held a conversation with his Polish counterpartThe Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, David Zalkaliani, held a telephone conversation with his Polish colleague, Zbigniew Rau. During the discussion the Ministers noted with particular emphasis the existing special friendship and partnership between the two countries.The discussion also touched upon the unfolding events in Georgia’s internal politics. The Ministers underscored the importance of diverting said processes towards a constructive framework and the necessity of dialogue, in order to ensure timely resolution of the existing crisis.Additionally, David Zalkaliani expressed gratitude towards his Polish counterpart for the staunch support demonstrated by Poland in terms of Georgia’s foreign policy aspirations, along with its sovereignty and territorial integrity.The head of the Foreign Ministries of Georgia and Poland deliberated upon the existing situation in both countries in the context of the global pandemic, along with the process of vaccination. The necessity of equal distribution of vaccines was noted. The Georgian Foreign Minister expressed gratitude towards Poland for taking a strong stance on said issue and exerting appropriate efforts.
We should provide important assistance to the conflict-affected population and enact an instrument needed for a dialogue and de-escalation of the conflict - the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office
"Georgia is a strong partner of OSCE in resolving conflicts, as well as within the OSCE concept of security encompassing 3 dimensions”- the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden, Ann Linde said following her meeting with the Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani.
According to the Swedish diplomat, Georgia and OSCE should play an important role in establishing peace and security in the region. She reaffirmed strong support for Georgia’s constructive participation in this significant effort.
Ann Linde stressed that active engagement in Russia-Georgia conflict resolution process is one of the key priorities of the Swedish chairmanship of OSCE.
In her words, the challenges facing the European security should be resolved by adhering to OSCE principles and commitments, as well as through dialogue and engagement. “OSCE has long been playing an important role in Georgia through its active engagement in the Geneva International Discussions and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism. We hope that we can provide an important assistance to the conflict-affected population and enact an instrument needed for a dialogue and de-escalation of the conflict and strengthen the democratic institutions of Georgia” - Ann Linde said.
According to Ann Linde, the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus, Co-chair of the Geneva International Discussions, Annika Söder will play an important role in this regard.
Within the framework of her visit to Georgia, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office will hold meetings with the Georgian President, Salome Zourabichvili, Speaker of Parliament, Archil Talakvadze, the Georgian PM, Giorgi Gakharia. Ann Linde is also to visit the village of Khurvaleti.
PRESS RELEASE ON THE INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING OF THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TURKMENISTAN
On January 16, 2021, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov held an Informational briefing in Ashgabat, dedicated to the commissioning of three infrastructure facilities - a power line in the direction of Kerki (Turkmenistan) - Sheberghan (Afghanistan), a 30-kilometer railway section between stations "Aqina-Andkhoy" and the International fiber-optic communication system and transit flows along the route Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) - Aqina (Afghanistan) and Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) - Torghundi (Afghanistan).
The event was attended by the ministers, heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations working in Turkmenistan, rectors of the country's universities, chief editors of print media, representatives of national media and journalists of foreign mass media accredited in Turkmenistan. The Ambassadors of Turkmenistan in foreign countries, as well as more than 30 representatives of foreign mass media from 15 countries of the world took part in the event through videoconferencing.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan described these projects as real steps aimed at the consistent involvement of Afghanistan to regional and international economic processes, the integration of this country into the system of continental transport and logistics ties. The importance of their successful implementation was noted in the context of present and prospective bilateral, regional and international cooperation, including the positive impact on the general geo-economic and political situation in the region.
During his speech, R. Meredov emphasized that the construction of infrastructure facilities in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, in terms of its geo-economic and geopolitical significance, transcend its regional boundaries, and in fact means the formation of a new belt of transport and communications and the energy supplies of the continental level on the Turkmen and Afghan territories, connecting the Central Asia and South Asia with Europe and the Middle East. This, in turn, is the practical embodiment of Turkmenistan’s international initiatives in the field of sustainable development in transport and energy sector, which the country proposes within UN. As examples, the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline, the construction of cross-border railways, bridges, power lines and fiber-optic communications with the participation of neighboring countries and other countries, work on the launching of the Lapis-Lazuli transport corridor along the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey route were presented.
In this context, during the briefing, the importance of cooperation with international organizations, including the United Nations, its specialized agencies, and the European Union, was noted. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan announced the conjugation of multilateral interests, the strive of partners to diversify transport and energy flows, which creates preconditions for joining the mentioned projects of a number of integration associations, such as the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States. In this regard, R. Meredov stressed that the bilateral Turkmen-Afghan infrastructure projects should be considered as part of more comprehensive plans on the establishment of geo-economic space uniting the states of the region, neighboring countries, other states, and aimed at forming an integrated system of continental cooperation in Eurasia.
The head of the Foreign Ministry confirmed the firm adherence of Turkmenistan to providing comprehensive political, diplomatic and economic support to Afghanistan, which constitutes a single long-term state strategy for Turkmenistan's cooperation with this country. R. Meredov stressed that the basis of such cooperation is the reliance on the historical traditions of friendship and good-neighborliness of the two fraternal peoples, the awareness of the fact that Afghanistan is the most important and integral link of regional and continental stability and security, and the assuredness in the ability of the Afghan people and their leadership to overcome the existing difficulties and achieve peace and harmony in the country, attain its economic prosperity.
The Minister of Energy of Turkmenistan Charymyrat Purchekov, the Counselor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Turkmenistan Ahmad Tariq Noorzadeh, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalya Gherman, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat Natalya Drozd, Director of the Resident Office of the Asian Development Bank in Turkmenistan Chang Ching Yu also gave speeches at the briefing.
Speakers noted that these initiatives of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which were implemented, contribute to an increase in the volume and expansion of the geography of electricity exports, and an increase in the transport and transit potential of the entire region. It was also noted that the commissioning of these projects contributes to the implementation of the transit and transport potential of the two states, their interaction in the energy and communication sectors, integration into the system of modern international economic relations.
At the end of the briefing, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan answered the questions of the representatives of the news agencies, in particular the “News Central Asia” (Pakistan), “TRT” (Turkey) и “Agence France Press” (France), the faculty members of the Institute of International Relations of the MFA of Turkmenistan, the International University for the Humanities and Development and local press.
THE AQINA-ANDKHOY RAILWAY LINE WAS PUT INTO OPERATION
On January 14, 2021, the inauguration of the 30-kilometer railway section between the Aqina-Andkhoy stations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan took place.
The event was attended by the heads of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, members of governments, heads and representatives of a number of ministries and departments of the two countries, public organizations.
The Chairman of the Agency "Türkmendemirýollary" (Turkmen Railways) A. Atamuradov and the head of the Afghan Railway Authority Mohammad Yamma Shams informed the ceremony participants about the construction work.
In his speech, A. Atamuradov noted that the Aqina-Andkhoy railway branch connected with the railway system of Turkmenistan is the part of the Asian International Railway Transport Corridor and is intended to become one of the key links of the Lapis-Lazuli corridor. He spoke about the well-coordinated work of the Turkmen and Afghan railway workers who worked hard on the implementation of this project. It was noted that this and other routes initiated by the head of state contribute to building up the transport and transit potential of both Turkmenistan and the entire region, contributing to the strengthening of fruitful trade and economic cooperation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the head of the Afghan Railway Authority Mohammad Yamma Shams noted the high level of Turkmen-Afghan cooperation in the field of transport. Yamma Shams expressed gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan for assistance in the implementation of this project. He noted that the efficiency of this railway will continue to grow, creating new jobs and expanding the transport and transit potential of Afghanistan. Thus, the Aqina-Andkhoy railway line will open up new opportunities for the development of the Afghan economy and the revitalization of its small and medium-sized businesses.
During the ceremony, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave their blessing for the commissioning of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway line.
The opening of this railway branch was marked by the solemn dispatch from the Aqina station towards the city of Andkhoy of a train consisting of 20 cars loaded with export products from Turkmenistan.
At the end of the ceremony, the Turkmen and Afghan railway workers who worked hard on the construction of the facility were presented with valuable gifts on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan.
It is important to note that the Memorandum of Understanding on the construction of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway between the “Türkmendemirýollary” Agency of the Ministry of Industry and Communication of Turkmenistan and the Afghan Railway Authority was signed following the results of high-level bilateral talks held in Ashgabat in February 2019.
Colleagues congratulate David Zalkaliani upon his reappointment to the position of Foreign MinisterSecretary General of the Council of Europe, as well as Foreign Ministers of Romania, Hungary and Lithuania congratulate their Georgian counterpart, David Zalkaliani, upon his reappointment to the position of Foreign Minister.
“I would like to confirm my respect to the efforts exerted by the Georgian Government in terms of overcoming challenges arisen in the healthcare sector and the priorities introduced by Georgia during its chairmanship of the committee of ministers of the council. I am convinced that your share of work in the council will only continue to grow as per your mandate and grow into brilliant cooperation. You have always demonstrated that in this regard the organisation can rely on Georgia’s support, as Georgia represents a country that has never stopped active efforts to strengthen our common European values and standards,” – noted Marija Pejčinović Burić in her address.
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister expressed readiness to further deepen cooperation with Georgia across the board. The head of the Romanian diplomacy, Bogdan Aurescu, in turn, expressed hopefulness that Georgia and Romania will establish a strategic partnership in order to capitalise on the existing achievements as well as build a bilateral dialogue across the board allowing to further deepen cooperation between the two states.
It is noteworthy, that in their addresses Zalkaliani’s colleagues, once again, underscore their confirmation regarding the support of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration, along with Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.