Readout of the President’s Meeting with Secretary General Helga Schmid of the OSCE
President Salome Zourabichvili held a meeting today at the Orbeliani Palace with H.E. Helga Maria Schmid, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, during which the two leaders agreed on the President’s initiative to hold a conference of women leaders in Georgia to promote the role of women in peace and security. The sides also discussed the upcoming municipal elections and stressed the importance of the participation of election observation missions especially the OSCE/ODIHR EOM.
The sides also discussed the occupied territories, including the deteriorating of the humanitarian situation following the closure of crossing points by the de facto regime, human rights violations and kidnappings by the occupation regime, the case of Zaza Gakheladze, and the need to strengthen the Geneva International Discussions to increase the effectiveness of the format.
President Zourabichvili and Secretary General Schmid also touched on the regional situation and stressed Georgia’s role in ensuring regional peace and stability.
News Releases of the President administration
Ilia Darchiashvili has met with the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
On 17 June 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ilia Darchiashvili met with President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Margareta Cederfelt.
During the meeting, the sides welcomed the close cooperation between Georgia and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
The sides discussed the situation in the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. Emphasizing the importance of the international community’s strong and consolidated support, the Minister thanked the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Assembly for their support of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, which was repeatedly expressed in various resolutions and statements. The sides focused on the issue of the Geneva International Talks. Discussions focused on the Georgian government’s peace policy and the steps taken in this direction.
The sides also discussed the situation in the region, the ongoing war in Ukraine and its impact on the security environment. The President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly was informed about the political and humanitarian assistance provided by Georgia to Ukraine.
Speaking about Georgia's European integration process, the sides underlined the importance of the European Commission's recommendation to grant Georgia European perspective. It was highlighted that the country will continue to move in this direction.
Ambassador of China to Georgia, Zhou Qian Presented The Letter of Credence to President of GeorgiaOn June 3, 2022, Ambassador of China to Georgia, Zhou Qian presented the Letter of Credence to President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili.Ambassador Zhou Qian conveyed the cordial greetings and good wishes from President Xi Jinping to President Salome Zourabichvili, and remarked that China and Georgia have longstanding friendship. He expressed, that the Chinese side is willing to work together with the Georgian side to actively develop friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries and continuously enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. Ambassador Zhou is ready to actively fulfil his duties in this important post and will spare no effort to further advance the development of China-Georgia relations.President Zourabichvili welcomed Ambassador Zhou to his new post and thanked President Xi Jinping for his cordial greetings. President Zourabichvili remarked that Georgia attaches great importance to China-Georgia relations, and is willing to join efforts in order to promote bilateral cooperation in various fields and achieve more fruitful results. Her Excellency also expressed willingness on her and Georgian Government’s behalf to provide strong support and assistance to Ambassador Zhou in fulfilling his duties.Head of the Administration of the President of Georgia, Natia Sulava, Deputy Foreign Minister, Teimuraz Janjalia, Advisor to the President of Georgia, Liana Jervalidze, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of China in Georgia, Zhao Chuanyi attended the ceremony.
On the 26 of May, the Georgian nation decided once and for all to live in a free, independent country - S. Zourabichvili
First of all, happy Independence Day to those of you who are swearing allegiance to the homeland today. The Georgian military has been characterized by its ability to fight, by its responsibility, its self-sacrifice and loyalty to oath. Today, you are becoming part of this worthy military history. You know and are well aware that defending the independence and freedom of a country is not an easy task and requires dignity and dedication.
On the 26 of May, the Georgian nation decided once and for all to live in a free, independent country. Thus, the Georgian nation once and for all refused to be part of another country, refused slavery.
Today, the 26 of May, is not only a day to revive the past, nor is it an ordinary holiday, it is a day of reflection and understanding. A day when we should think about our country and ask ourselves whether we are doing everything that this country needs, for its future, for the well-being of its people, for its independence and for its freedom.
This question should be asked by everyone, every citizen, every child of this country, living here or abroad. After all, independence means that the future of our children is in our hands and that no one can avoid this responsibility. However, and this thinking is obvious, those of us who stand on this side of the tribune owe more, for we have more responsibility. This responsibility is stronger now, because Georgia is once again standing at a crossroads, not unlike many crucial moments in its history. In front of us has come the time for new opportunities and new challenges and they require certain answers, readiness, foresight, a vision and courage with caution. It requires unity in the first place - and I will say this as many times as it takes.
A historic opportunity arose on the road to Europe. This road to Europe did not arise without bloodshed and without sacrifice. This aspiration was based on the knowledge that common values united us and connected us to the European civilization. And while we defended the Georgian faith, identity and values against a number of conquering empires, we also defended Europe at the same time. These shared values encompassed everything that is the key to our European future today, that is - four core values and principles.
1) A fair court, a principle which dates back many centuries in Georgia and is based on the historical cornerstones of Georgian law: be it the customary law of Antiquity, the 13th-century "Book of All the Mistakes of Men", the 14th-century criminal law of King George the Brilliant, or King Vakhtang VI’s unique repertoire of historical legal writings. The history of Georgian law would have adorned many European countries, and it is a bit of a shame that we cannot continue this legacy properly today.
2) The cornerstone of Georgian culture, which is also the defining value for Europe - tolerance and diversity. Even today, we and Europe owe it to ourselves to continue this tradition.
3) The Christianity of Europe and Georgia instructed us to recognize humanity as the center of the world and therefore to respect and protect all of its rights. On our way to Europe, this also stands on our agenda.
4) And finally, the balance of power to avoid the temptation of authoritarianism that characterizes our history. The division of the Executive and Legislative branches and their balancing dates back to the 12th-century reign of Tamar the King, under the form of the Karavi and the Darbazi, which stand as the foundations of Georgian parliamentarism. Thus, we must understand that the protection of these values is neither the fulfillment of someone else's dictated will, nor the danger of alienation and loss of identity, but on the contrary - taking decisive steps on the path to Europe is tantamount to returning to oneself. That is why, cognitively or intuitively, this path is supported by all of society and this support has not only slowed down but strengthened over the years. Today, for the first time, a real chance has arisen. Neither the civil society united around this goal, nor the souls of our ancestors, nor the future generations will forgive us for missing this chance. Instead, those who will be able to succeed on this path will inherit a unique place and appreciation in Georgian history. The choice is yours! The choice is ours!
With this great historical chance, Georgia is facing no less powerful challenges. The war in Ukraine, in the heart of Europe, reminds us of the tragedies of the war waged on Georgia more than once in the past centuries. Precisely because we know the cost of such devotion to country, do we owe it to ourselves not only to feel the pain of the Ukrainian people, but also to show full solidarity with them. We understand what is the power of solidarity and we see this in the Georgian society expressing that solidarity in all possible ways. We also understand very well that even our accelerated path toward Europe is the merit of the Ukrainian people, achieved with their blood and suffering. Ukraine has gone through incredible battles, its warriors have shown the world an example of courage, devotion and endurance. I would like to pay here tribute to the fallen Ukrainian and Georgian heroes, because what they all fought for is independence and freedom, and the 26 of May is a day for independence and freedom. We know and will never forget that Ukraine today defends not only its own freedom, sovereignty, and independence, but also our freedom and that of other European countries. It protects the future of a united, strong, free Europe.
At this time, the challenges related to our occupied territories are not slowing down, on the contrary. In this tense environment, there is an attempt to convince people that Georgia can "use this time" and try to return territories by force - this is another obvious Russian misinformation. I once again address our citizens in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, assuring you that Georgia will not act against you through war and force. It is clear to everyone today which country threatens the sovereignty, identity and life of its neighbors. This is not Georgia. I appeal to you and offer that, as in the past we created the Georgian state together, now together we should create an equal future. I offer to you to join us in an European united future. I offer you freedom, and the respect and protection of your language, your identity, your history, your culture. I offer you new accord. At this time, this yet-another provocation by Russia, the threat of referendum and annexation, will not achieve its goal - the escalation of the confrontation between us and our shift from the policy of peace. Russia mustn’t make another grave mistake and wrongdoing, and must not once again try to disregard all the norms and principles of international law. This will not go unanswered and will provoke appropriate reactions from the international community.
Today, on the 26 of May, my request and wish to you, the society and the political elite, is one: Strength is in Unity! When if not today, must we realize that we have no other way! A united nation has a great future ahead: Europe and return to our roots! Once again, I would like to appeal to all of you and remind you that national accord in this should not remain an empty word and should reflect our state and historical consciousness. This chance exists today!
I would like to read one sentence from the declaration created by several groups of young people that will be signed today at the Orbeliani Palace: "Young people living in Georgia stand together to reach out to the international community at this crucial moment in the country and to express our unwavering will and support for the country's European future."
We are tasked with listening to these young people and paving the way for future generations to make their own choices. Success on this path depends on us and only us. And “us” means all of us: the government, the opposition and the society with all its components.
That is why I am ready to be your voice and deliver this message of the nation where the voice of Georgia should be heard today! So they too can understand the unified message of Georgia "We are Europeans"! We must all serve this goal... and this is how I understand the words of the oath uttered today: "I serve Georgia!"
Long live Georgia!
Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia Meets Helga Maria Schmid, OSCE Secretary General
Cooperation between Georgia and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), current military activities witnessed in Ukraine and security environment in the region were among the main topics of discussion at a meeting held today between Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia and Helga Maria Schmid, OSCE Secretary General.
The Head of Government of Georgia expressed gratitude to the OSCE Secretary General for the efforts made towards a peaceful conflict resolution and rebuilding of trust among the war-torn communities in Georgia, thereby stressing the role of an OSCE Co-Chairmanship in the Geneva International Discussions (GID) and within the format of incident prevention and response mechanisms. It was once again highlighted at the meeting that the following round of GID should be held in the nearest future.
It was noted that irrespective of the difficult challenges faced in the security and humanitarian conditions on the ground, the Government of Georgia remains committed towards a peaceful conflict resolution initiative and democratic development of the country.
Irakli G+aribashvili and Helga Maria Schmid spoke about the military activities witnessed in Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Georgia reiterated solidarity towards Ukraine and stressed the importance of having the war ended in the shortest period of time.
Press Service of the Government Administration
President S. Zourabichvili Gifts Books from Elene Akhvlediani’s Personal Library to Museum of Books
President Salome Zourabichvili gifted books from the personal library of Elene Akhvlediani to the Museum of Books of the Ilia Chavchavadze National Parliamentary Library on International Museum Day.
According to the administration of the President of Georgia, the books, which were purchased personally by the President, include: Du “Cubisme” by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger and Les Peintres Cubistes by Guillaume Apollinaire.
During the event, the President stated that “these two important books bring us closer to European culture and show how much we had merged with it before the Soviet Union and Soviet pressure separated us from Europe. We are returning to this path now and as a sign of that I want to give you these two books.”
Levan Taktakishvili, Director of the Library Resources Department of the NPLG, noted the number of materials gifted by President Zourabichvili in the library: “We received many gifts from Mme. Zourabichvili dating back to before her presidency. The archives of her parents, of her husband are in the library. It was Mme. Zourabichvili who awarded the Order of National Hero to Mikha Khelashvili. We’re always ready to seek more and more interesting material.”