Maia Sandu: ‘Where there is political will, there is genuine reform’
“Where there is popular will, there is change. Where there is political will, there is genuine reform,” today said Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.
Referring to the recent Presidential election, she said that “people voted for serious change”, meaning justice, better standards of living, access to quality education, healthcare and better infrastructure, as well as to “put an end to pervasive corruption”. Change means that “Moldovans will trust their state”, President Sandu underlined.
The Moldovan people “want the Presidency to join forces with a new parliament and a new government to clean the country of the vices that are holding it back - and they ask for your support in doing so,” she added. And this time, “Moldovan politicians should not fail the people.”
The drive for reform must continue “to come from the people, no matter what obstacles may block the road. And there are many obstacles. Corrupt forces will fight back, because they stand to lose not only their illicit revenues, but also their freedom.” But people “are determined to fight for change, and count on the support of Moldova’s partners in the Council of Europe,” President Sandu concluded.
On the occasion of the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth will participate in the spring session of PACE (19-22 April 2021) which will take place in a hybrid format.
The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and the Secretary General of the organisation, Marija Pejčinović Burić, will also address PACE.
At this session, the Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, will present her 2020 annual report and the Assembly will award its Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.
There have been requests for urgent debates on "The arrest and detention of Alexei Navalny in January 2021" and "The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey", as well as for current affairs debates on "Covid passports or certificates: protection of fundamental rights and legal implications", "Armenian prisoners of war and other captives", "Covid-19 vaccination certificates: how to protect public health and human rights?", and "Russian threat to the pursuit of peace in Europe".
Topics on the agenda include a debate on the Assembly's vision of the Council of Europe's strategic priorities and a joint debate on human rights violations and the need for electoral reform in Belarus.
The OECD's work on taxing the digital economy with the participation of its Secretary General Ángel Gurría, discrimination against people with chronic and long-term illnesses, post-monitoring dialogue with Montenegro, the preservation of national minorities and a European policy on diasporas will also be discussed.
Congress to observe local elections in Georgia
Strasbourg, 29 September 2021 - At the invitation of the authorities of Georgia, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will deploy a mission to observe the local elections on 2 October in 64 municipalities. The mission will be headed by David Eray (Switzerland, EPP/CCE, R), and involves 18 Congress observers from 15 countries. It is part of a joint observation together with the OSCE/ODIHR and the European Parliament.
The deployment on the ground on Election Day will be preceded by preparatory meetings in Tbilisi on 30 September and 1 October including representatives of the diplomatic corps, domestic and international NGOs and the media. The Congress delegation will also meet the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, Mr Giorgi Kalandarishvili, and the Deputy Minister of Justice and Head of Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections, Mr Tornike Cheishvili.
Together with the delegation from the EU Parliament a briefing with the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Core Team and with long-term observers will be organised. The preparatory programme will be rounded off by meetings with candidates running in the local elections and party representatives, as well as members of the Georgian delegation to the Congress.
On polling day, nine Congress teams will be deployed to different cities, towns and adjacent rural areas across the country.
The mission will be concluded by a joint press conference with OSCE/ODIHR and the European Parliament on Sunday, 3 October 2021, at 15:00, at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace.
THE MEETING OF THE HALK MASLAHATY OF THE MILLI GENGESH OF TURKMENISTAN WAS HELD IN ASHGABAT
On September 25, 2021, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov chaired a meeting of the Halk Maslahaty (People’s Council) of the Milli Gengesh (National Council) of Turkmenistan on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the sacred Independence of Turkmenistan.
The meeting was attended by elected members of the Halk Maslahaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan, members of the Mejlis, heads of government agencies, political parties and public organizations, khyakims of velayats, districts and cities, honorary elders and representatives of all sectors of the population.
The agenda of the nationwide event focused on the achievements of Turkmenistan’s statehood over 30 years of independence. The discussion also focused on the priorities of further comprehensive development of Turkmenistan and implementation of the goals and tasks to ensure prosperous life of Turkmen people. Important decisions were made aimed at further prosperity of our independent state and improving the living standards of the people.
In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan noted with satisfaction the tremendous achievements of the country during the years of sovereign development. The head of state noted that within historically short period of time Turkmen people proved to be a peace-loving, friendly nation able to build and create.
Noting the importance of the landmark date, Turkmen leader emphasized that this anniversary date intended to further strengthen the unity and cohesion of our people will become another confident step forward on the chosen creative path in the modern history of the country.
During his speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized formation of a solid foundation for strong economic development and outlined priority directions of the national policy.
The President also spoke about the importance of the foreign policy of the state and the high prestige of Turkmenistan in the international arena. As the head of state stressed, our state will continue consistently implement a peace-loving foreign policy strategy aimed at the development of friendly, constructive relations with the world countries.
During the meeting, the President of Turkmenistan signed decrees on awarding state awards to distinguished citizens on the occasion of the anniversary of Independence of Turkmenistan.
The leader of the nation conducted a general lesson of history of the country, the duty and responsibilities of the younger generation
Today, at the capital's Congress Centre, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave a general lesson on the occasion of Day of Knowledge and Student Youth and the beginning of the new academic year.
It is a great historical event for all of us to meet, exchange opinions, share impressions and discuss successes achieved over the years of sovereign development. From this point of view, as the head of state, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Turkmenistan, teacher, professor, academician, I decided to meet with you today and deliver a report in all areas, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted in his opening speech.
Then the participants of the meeting listened with great attention and enthusiasm to the speech of the leader of the nation.
Having cordially congratulated the audience on Day of Knowledge and Student Youth, which is of great importance in the public life of the country, and the beginning of the new academic year 2021-2022, the head of state emphasized that in a few days it will be 30 years since the declaration of independence of Turkmenistan.
On the first day of golden autumn, we celebrate Day of Knowledge and Student Youth with events that symbolize rapid development of national education system.
Addressing the youth, leader of the nation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov recalled that in his book "The Spiritual world of Turkmen" he noted that "the most valuable heritage is upbringing and education and science are the core of upbringing".
Decently continuing this noble tradition, today, with participation of members of the Khalk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh, deputies of the Mejlis of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan, representatives of public organizations, respected elders, several modern secondary schools equipped with multimedia equipment and digital technologies are solemnly opened. Our kids, who are entering the world of knowledge for the first time, are presented with computers of domestic production "Bilimli", the leader of the nation said, noting that it is especially proud that these computers, containing information in Turkmen, Russian and English, are produced in our country.
In this regard, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave young people the following edification: to always strive to receive deep and comprehensive knowledge and improve their minds.
“As I noted in my book “Turkmenistan - Homeland of Neutrality”, “free, peaceful life of our people can be compared with calmly and freely soaring in the sky eagles and falcons, majestically spreading their mighty wings in the ascending streams. And speaking in artistic language, independence and neutrality are two wings of the Turkmen statehood! ”President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized.
As noted, after gaining independence, national symbols were established - State Flag, State Emblem and State Anthem. Our heroic and glorious history has been revived.
The Constitution of Turkmenistan, which is our Basic Law, is a national value that symbolizes the heights of our glorious past, present and great future, guarantees our unity, solidarity and dignity, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said proudly.
Today, the whole world knows such civilizations as Margiana, Bactria, Khorezm, Parthia, the culture of the Seljuqs Turkmens, historical and cultural monuments of Merv, Nisa, Urgench, Abiverd and Dehistan. I talked about the highest values brought by our people into world culture in such books as “Akhal-Teke is our pride and glory”, “Rapid tread of horse”, “Horse is a symbol of loyalty and happiness”, “Heavenly beauty”, “Music peace, music of friendship and brotherhood "," Turkmen culture "," Tea - medicine and inspiration "," Turkmenistan - heart of the Great Silk Road "," Turkmen Alabay ", the leader of the nation emphasized.
Continuing a kind of excursion into history, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that the Turkmen states always paid great attention to the development of science and education, made great efforts for this and spared no expense. Thus, in these states, Muhammad Khorezmi, Abu Reikhan Biruni, Ibn Sina, Fakhreddin Razi, Abu Bekr Muhammad As-Suli, Abdyrakhman Hazini, Omar Khayyam showed themselves to the world.
Learn, build, and create! In your beautiful poetic and prose works, musical and other works of art, glorify highly our beloved Motherland - Turkmenistan, our white city - Ashgabat, our courageous people!
Addressing the inspired younger generation of our sovereign state, the leader of the nation emphasized that, despite the current financial and economic crisis in the world, we are developing the economy of our country through diversification.
As science plays an increasingly important role in our lives, a new generation is emerging that is well versed in advanced technology. As you know, throughout its history, the Turkmen people never lived in isolation from science. Our young people today have the right to be proud of great discoveries of our ancestors in the world of science. Along with this, the younger generation must deeply master modern achievements of mankind in science and technologies.
It was noted that humanism, decency, spirituality, modesty, courage, truthfulness and pure morality became the norms of life. And on this basis, a national school of morality and education arose.
Young people should turn noble principles of our ancestors into their life credo. Today, the wisdom of our people illuminates the whole world, and huge transformations are taking place on the Turkmen land. In this glorious era, the main goal of our youth should be education, loyalty to the shrines created by our ancestors, and dedicated service to their beloved Motherland, the leader of the nation said.
This was the end of the first hour of the general lesson, which continued after a short break.
Continuing the conversation, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that at present, on the way of creating an industrially developed state, much attention is paid to the harmonious development of economic sectors and regions. The share of agriculture is increasing. By radically improving the methods of managing the industry, the level of living conditions of villagers is consistently increasing. Our villages are developing harmoniously.
Bread is a sacred product. It has long been a tradition for the Turkmen people to consider wheat a storehouse, honouring bread, touching their foreheads, not throwing bread crumbs, protecting the tamdyr, the head of state emphasized.
Turkmen melons, including dried ones, were in great demand in the countries of Europe and the East. Historical sources indicate that sweet, like honey, Turkmen melons were sent to Baghdad, China and India. Now in our country hundreds of varieties of melons are grown.
Cotton is also one of the very important crops, the head of state continued. Cotton fibre, which is our wealth and glory, is used to produce yarn, which is used to make cotton fabric, which is environmentally friendly and pleasant for the human body. Oil is obtained from the seeds of this valuable plant, and cake is used for feeding domestic animals. Cotton branches are processed and materials used in furniture and construction are produced.
Particular attention in the speech was paid to the ongoing large-scale work to protect human health - the most valuable treasure of our state and society, to improve the national health care system in accordance with world standards.
Further, the head of state touched on the topic of sports, stating that it is a value that develops a person physically and spiritually, and also expands his worldview.
Here is my admonition to youth - our future - love sports! Sport is strength, beauty, health and high spirit!
The great future of Turkmen sport is in the confident hands of our valiant youth. We are immensely proud of this, the leader of the nation emphasized.
The white yurt is an integral part of the life culture of the Turkmen people. Councils of state importance were held in Turkmen white yurts. With this in mind, we have built “Türkmeniň ak öýi” buildings in all velayats of the country, which embody the features of the national architectural art. Today they are a kind of symbols of our hospitality and national culture, the origins of which go back many millennia, the head of state noted.
At the end of his speech, the leader of the nation wished the participants of the meeting good health, long years, happy and prosperous life, and great success in their studies!
The speech of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was greeted with stormy, prolonged applause.
Addressing those present, the leader of the nation noted that today during the meeting, an interested exchange of views took place on the large-scale work carried out in the country in all areas and important social issues.
Addressing 5th year student of the Turkmen Agricultural University named after S.A. Niyazov Gulsenem Orazveliyeva, who raised her hand, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov asked if she wanted to ask a question of her interest or simply express her opinion.
As noted, the general lesson given by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the first day of the new academic year 2021-2022, was full of deep meaning and content, leaving pleasant impressions on each of those present and enhancing the festive mood.
It is a great happiness to witness this important event in the month celebrating the 30th anniversary of the sacred independence of Turkmenistan, the student said, expressing the general opinion of the audience.
Thanks to the wise leadership of the Great Arkadag, happy young people grow up physically strong and spiritually rich, study science and receive education, and work creatively.
Having asked who else would like to express his opinion or ask a question, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov invited 5th year cadet of the Military Institute of the Ministry of Defence Toylymyrat Begmuradov to the rostrum.
Addressing the President of Turkmenistan, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country, as well as the participants of the meeting - professors, teachers and students, the cadet cordially congratulated everyone on Day of Knowledge and Student Youth celebrated today.
Thanks to the tireless care of the leader of the nation, who outlines the development of education as the most important direction of state policy, at present, all conditions are created in the higher and specialized educational institutions of the military and law enforcement agencies of the country for high-quality education of cadets to receive military specialties.
- We, the children of the Motherland, on this historic day want to sincerely assure you that, further following the model example of your beloved grandfather Berdimuhamed aga, the wise principles of your beloved father Malikguly aga, we will honour our sacred military duty and will proudly take part in the solemn military parade in honour of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of independence of Turkmenistan, T. Begmuradov assured.
Expressing deep gratitude for the broad transformations implemented in the national education system, the opportunities created for the comprehensive development of military education and military art, speaking on behalf of the cadets of all military institutions, he wished President of Turkmenistan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the country Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov good health, long life and success in his state activities.
At the end of the students' speeches, the leader of the nation again turned to the participants of today's meeting, asking if they had any wishes or specific proposals on exciting topics. As noted, anyone can ask a question of his interest, including in writing, by sending a letter to the Office of the President of Turkmenistan.
Then the head of state addressed all those present:
- Dear youth, the future of our country is connected with you!
In conclusion, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov read out his famous poetic lines, which found a lively response among all Turkmen citizens.
Oh, my beloved country,
You are both friendship and spring!
The world is a single flag of hearts
And a sign for the whole Universe!
Life is illuminated with happiness,
These are the times!
He always goes forward –
Addressing the students and pupils present in the hall, the leader of the nation called out: "Dear youth, with you forward, forward and only forward, my native land - Turkmenistan!"
This concludes the general lesson.
Having warmly said goodbye to the meeting participants, the head of state left the place of the event.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia started preparations for the elections as early as in April and sent invitations to all international observers - David Zalkaliani
According to the Georgian Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, the local self-government elections scheduled for 2 October will be monitored by international observation missions.
The Vice Prime Minister said that the Georgian government started preparations for the elections as early as in April. Formal invitations were sent to all international observer missions, including the OSCE/ODIHR EOM, as well as to all international organizations and partner countries. "Two invitations were sent, one in April, before the election date was announced, and the other – immediately after the election date was officially announced" - Zalkaliani added.
According to him, the leaders of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM are in Tbilisi and a meeting with them has already been held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "We help them address all organizational matters and provide them with all conditions for normal functioning, including amid the pandemic. The experience we gained from the previous elections also helps us in this" said the Foreign Minister.
The OSCE/ODIHR EOM will assign 350 short-term observers to monitor the election process in Georgia, “however, it is expected that the number of observers this time will be much higher than in previous elections, as the Foreign Ministry sent official invitations to the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, NATO and OSCE, as well as to various international organizations” – said the Minister.
“We’ll do our utmost to ensure that international observers do their work safely and in normal conditions” – added the Minister.
MFA of Georgia
The talks between President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Emomali Rahmon
Today in the capital the talks between President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon who arrived the day before in our country with the state visit, have taken place.
In the morning the motorcade of the head of the friendly state accompanied by an honourable escort of motorcyclists proceeded to of the Square of Independence located in the centre of Ashkhabad where the ceremony of an official meeting of the honoured guest took place.
Here the President of Tajikistan is welcomed warmly by the Turkmen leader.
Having exchanged friendly hand shake, heads of two brotherly states pass to the specially established podium.
The commander of the company of the Guard of honour solemnly reports.
National anthems of the Republic of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are performed.
Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Emomali Rahmon pass by the line of soldiers of the Guard of honour and pay a tribute of respect to the National flag of Turkmenistan.
The leader of the nation introduces the honoured guest to the members of the official delegation of Turkmenistan. In turn the head of the neighbouring country introduces President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the members of the governmental delegation of the Republic of Tajikistan.
At the end of the ceremony soldiers of the Guard of honour pass on the Square of Independence with solemn march.
Then the motorcade of President of Republic Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon accompanied by an honourable horse escort goes to the central entry of the "Oguzhan" Presidential Palace complex where he is met by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
At the end of the ceremony of official photographing on the background of the National flags of two countries the Turkmen leader invites his Tajik colleague to pass into the hall for bilateral meetings where summit talks in a format "face to face" took place.
During the negotiations which were held in friendly, confidential conditions, interlocutors confirmed mutual adherence of the parties and further to deepen the established fruitful cooperation, with the account of available potential and priorities of social and economic development of two countries.
Presidents of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan also exchanged opinions on a number of important issues of regional and world policy, representing mutual interest.
Then negotiations proceeded with full delegation - with participation of members of the official delegations of two countries.
Turkmenistan and Republic of Tajikistan firmly support creation of strong and positive mechanisms which would provide peace and stable development of Central Asia, non-admission of conflict situations, solution of all available issues in a format of political -diplomatic tools, good neighbourhood strengthening, observance and account of mutual interests, with a support on the conventional norms of international law and the United Nations Charter.
Concerning the Turkmen-Tajik relations in cultural and scientific spheres mutual relations in which are based on historical links of two friendly people, the Turkmen leader noted existing huge mutual interest in art and the literature and underlined importance of creation of conditions for deepening of traditional cooperation.
Relations between our countries develop on exact and clear principles, comprehension of joint potential in maintenance of peace and safety, development of trade and economic, investment, cultural-humanitarian cooperation, the Turkmen leader stated, having noted that as acknowledgement a solid package of the documents prepared for signing on important issues of bilateral interaction.
Using possibility, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov conveyed to the people of Tajikistan his wishes of peace and well-being wish, and also thanked President Emomali Rahmon for his big personal contribution to the cause of strengthening of mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation between two states and their people.
The floor is given to the President of Republic Tajikistan.
Having expressed his deep gratitude for the invitation to visit friendly Turkmenistan and the hearty welcome accorded here, Tajik leader Emomali Rahmon pointed out that it is his first state visit to our country after re-election for the post of the President of Tajikistan last year and thanked for his congratulation and support.
Sharing words of the Turkmen leader of importance of all-round development of mutual relations of friendship and cooperation, President Emomali Rahmon, from his part, expressed sincere interest in expansion of interstate interaction in all directions of cooperation, having underlined, that exactly such approach reflects real aspirations of two fraternal people and is equitable to their radical interests.
Congratulating head and all fraternal people of Turkmenistan on the forthcoming anniversary of state independence, President Emomali Rahmon wished new successes and achievements on the path of sovereign development.
Important component of mutual relations, according to President Emomali Rahmon, is also development of transport cooperation.
The geographical position and affinity of two countries dictates natural irreversibility of escalating of interaction in this area. We are interested in restoration and increase in volumes of international cargo transportation by road and rail in the territory of friendly Turkmenistan.
As the head of Tajikistan noted, an important link of interstate communications is cooperation within the limits of international organisations. Interaction on the international platforms, first of all within the United Nations, CIS, IFAS, OSCE and other authoritative structures develops.
We support continuation of practice of support of mutual initiatives and nominees on multilateral platforms, first of all in the United Nations, the President of Tajikistan underlined, having noted that as a vivid example for it can serve today's agreements on mutual support of nominees of our countries for election in non-permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations.
At the end of his speech President Emomali Rahmon marked that today the Tajik-Turkmen dialogue really has big prospects for the further deepening and expansion.
We are inclined that our mutual relations, based upon old bonds of friendship, actively developed, constantly finding a concrete direction, the Tajik leader underlined.
Having expressed once again deep gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and all Turkmen people for the rendered warm reception and hospitality, President Emomali Rahmon invited the head of Turkmenistan to visit Tajikistan during convenient time.
Upon completion of the Turkmen-Tajik negotiations with full delegation, the ceremony of signing of bilateral documents took place.
To the applause of the present President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon put the signatures under the Joint statement.
At the end of the ceremony of signing of documents the heads of two states addressed representatives of mass media.
For Turkmenistan the Republic of Tajikistan is an important and reliable partner, relations with which we build on long-term prospect, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stated.
Expressing deep satisfaction with results of the talks following the results of which a remarkable package of bilateral documents was signed, the head of Turkmenistan expressed to the President of Republic Tajikistan and members of his delegation deep gratitude for the big work.
In conclusion of the speech President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov conveyed to fraternal people of Tajikistan his best regards of peace, well-being and prosperity.
Making comments on results of the negotiations, President Emomali Rahmon expressed again to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov his sincere gratitude for the invitation to visit Turkmenistan with the state visit which is held on the eve of the major event for two countries - the 30th anniversary of independence.
As the head of Tajikistan noted, he is the direct witness of how for the last years with the accelerated rates Turkmenistan has developed and the shape of Ashkhabad has changed. In the country the potential of agriculture, light and oil and gas industries, other social and economic spheres has dynamically increased. In all it, certainly, the big merit of the Turkmen leader making all efforts for the benefit of the people, the honoured guest underlined.
The potential of regions of two states will be also more actively involved. So, the document on cooperation between the Sughd region and Akhal region today was signed.
Results of today's negotiations, the Tajik leader, without exaggeration underlined, allow looking into the foreseeable future of interstate partnership with optimism and kind hopes.
The honoured guest informed on the invitation of the head of Turkmenistan to visit Tajikistan during time convenient for him and also to take part in the SCO Summit which will take place next month in Dushanbe, as the guest of honour of the chairman.
Having noted that they will be glad to see the Turkmen leader on the Tajik land, President Emomali Rahmon once again thanked President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and through him the great people of Turkmenistan for the rendered warm reception and traditional hospitality.
In the second half of day the President of Republic of Tajikistan visited village Kypchak where laid flowers in the Mausoleum and visited the Mosque of Spirituality of Turkmenbashi.
Then the motorcade of the honoured guest proceeded to the Memorial complex «Halk hakydasy».
After the ceremony of flower laying to the monument «Baky şöhrat», immortalised memory of national heroes - valorous defenders of Fatherland - the leader of the friendly country familiarised with an exposition of the Memorial complex of the museum «Watan mukaddesligi» located in the territory where he left memorable record in the Book of guests of honour.
In the evening in honour of the honoured guest President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave an official dinner in which leaders of two countries exchanged speeches.
The state visit of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon to Turkmenistan continues.