Vakhtang Gomelauri held a meeting with the Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, and EU Member States
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Vakhtang Gomelauri held a meeting with the Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Georgia, Carl Hartzell, Ambassadors of the EU Member States (EU MSs), as well as the representatives of the EU MSs embassies.
The meeting was attended by the Ambassadors of Austria, Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Kingdom of Sweden and Slovenia. Furthermore, the representatives of the Embassies of Kingdom of Belgium, Bulgaria, Kingdom of Spain, Greece, Hungary and Kingdom of Netherlands participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, parties discussed the upcoming local self-government elections of October 2 and the importance of conducting the election process in a safe and free environment.
Vakhtang Gomelauri stated that the objective of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is to protect the public order and ensure the conduct of elections in a free, democratic and safe environment throughout the country. Accordingly, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is taking all appropriate measures defined by the law with the purpose of ensuring effective response to and prevention of crimes related to the election process.
Vakhtang Gomelauri provided European partners with the detailed information regarding the investigative and operative measures undertaken by the Ministry within the ongoing investigations concerning the events of July 5-6.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Internal Affairs expressed appreciation towards the Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia and the representatives of the EU MSs for their active and close cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The Vice Prime Minister of Georgia participates in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Riga
On 1 December 2021, the Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister of Georgia, David Zalkaliani participated in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs where the Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Ukraine - NATO aspirants - were invited.
During the Ministerial Meeting, the Secretary General of NATO and the Foreign Ministers of the Member states reaffirmed their support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Highlighting that Georgia is a close partner of NATO, they underlined its contribution to global security, including NATO-led operations and missions.
It was reiterated that NATO remains committed to the decision taken at the Bucharest Summit and expresses its readiness to continue its political and practical support.
Among the issues discussed at the Ministerial Meeting was the Black Sea security. In this context, special attention was paid to the Alliance’s cooperation with the partner countries, the strengthening of their integration mechanisms and further support.
The Riga Ministerial Meeting adopted a special report on aspirant countries, which reflects the progress made by aspirant countries on the path to NATO integration, as well as specific mechanisms and new directions for assisting the aspirants on the path to membership.
The Ministerial Meeting takes on a special importance prior to the Alliance's 2022 summit, where a new strategic concept for NATO is to be approved. Within the framework of the Ministerial Meeting, Georgia had the opportunity to voice its expectations regarding the 2022 summit.
Georgia is actively involved in the process of developing NATO's 2030 strategic vision, so that important issues for Georgia are fully reflected in this strategy, which sets out the priorities for NATO for the next 10 years.
It should be noted that during the preparations for the Ministerial Meeting, Georgia developed and presented to the Alliance its visions for the country's integration into NATO, in terms of strengthening both practical and political support, including reforms, as well as enhancing the country's defense capabilities and resilience.
Georgia's participation in in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs indicates that the Alliance places high priority on the region's security and emphasizes our country’s special role in ensuring global and regional security.
FIRST DEPUTY MINISTER OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS AND US AMBASSADOR TO GEORGIA ATTENDED THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF DRUG INVESTIGATION TRAINING COURSE
Training course on investigation of drug-related crime, jointly organized by US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Cooperation (INL) was held for the investigators of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.US Ambassador to Georgia – Kelly Degnan and the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs – Shalva Bedoidze attended the closing ceremony and awarded participants with relevant certificates.The First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs expressed gratitude to the Ambassador of the United States of America for close cooperation and assistance over the years. US Ambassador stressed the importance of training law enforcement officers in the investigation of drug-related crime and sharing international experience.During the training course, participants received information on such important issues, as: drug identification; obtaining testimony; covert investigative actions; basic safety rules when investigating clandestine drug laboratories and financial investigation.
SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATION CONTINUES IN BATUMI
Search and rescue operations by the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is in progress at the site of the collapsed residential building in Batumi. Late at night, rescuers found the bodies of 4 people under the rubble.As a result of several hours of intensive search and rescue operation, firefighters rescued 2 injured people from the rubble, who were transferred to the hospital and are being treated accordingly.The Minister of Internal Affairs -Vakhtang Gomelauri, the Deputy Minister- Ioseb Chelidze and the Head of the Emergency Situations Management Service -Temur Mghebrishvili remain at the site of the rescue and search operations in Batumi, to lead the rescue operation.Intensive search-and-rescue operation as well as clear-up activities are still underway at the moment.
The Minister of Internal Affairs met with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Video)
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Vakhtang Gomelauri held a meeting with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Rik Daems, who pays visit to Georgia.Within the frames of the meeting, the parties discussed the current issues, including the upcoming local self-government elections and the importance of conduction of election process in safe and free environment.Minister of Internal Affairs provided detailed information to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe regardin the developments on July 5th and ongoing investigations on facts of violence committed against the media representatives.Vakhtang Gomelauri expressed his gratitude towards Rik Daems for supporting democratic processes in Georgia.At the end of the meeting parties discussed perspectives of future cooperation with the Council of Europe.
Statement of the Prime Minister of Georgia
"Let me greet our fellow citizens!
I wish to make several statements in reference with the development of events in recent days.
First of all, of course, I would like to once again express my sincere condolences and share the grief of the family of Alexander Lashkarava, his relatives, colleagues and everyone else. Death of any human being is of course a tragedy. It does not matter what the reason may be behind this.
I want to tell the public that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia is working actively. All the relevant actions were taken very efficiency already yesterday. In addition, an appropriate forensic examination is scheduled, at the initiative of the family of the deceased and at the request of the television company, an independent expert is involved in the process and all questions will be answered fully, in the shortest possible time. In addition, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia led by Vakhtang Gomelauri made a statement yesterday, noting that an independent, international expert will be engaged in the process to make sure that no questions are left unanswered.
I also wish to share with you my assessment of the issue in general, on the development of events in recent days.
Of course, it was yet another failed conspiracy against the State, masterminded by anti-state and anti-church forces, which failed and will never be successful in our country.
We all saw that the tragedy of this person was attempted to be used for their own political agenda. What may be more immoral than using the tragedy of a deceased person for one's own political goals?!
Of course, it does not matter what led to the death of Alexander Lashkarava. Every offender will be punished absolutely with full force of the law. Police have already detained 4 individuals, who participated in the beating of the referred individual.
I wish to once again state that any and all forms of violence are intolerable. We condemn and have always condemned, we will further prevent any form of violence in the country. We will not let violence reign in our state!
As for my response measures in general, I condemned the fact of violence on the following morning of course. Violence targeted against journalists and cameramen is of course absolutely unacceptable. It is an unimaginable fact and we of course condemn it. Police efficiently responded to the matter on the following day.
Secondly, I wish to once again remind the public how the events were developing prior to the fact and how we reached that day.
You may well be aware that I made a statement in advance to the event on July 5, announcing that a very large, wide-scale provocation was planned against our country and our population. I indicated the specific name and surname of the person behind the revenging, radical conspiracy. It is Mr. Saakashvili and his radical groups. Questions were asked on the linkage of the LGBT community and event organized by them specifically with Saakashvili. One of the co-organizers and supporters of the referred event was NGO Shame, which is absolutely managed by organizations of Saakashvili. It is a confirmed fact, my friends. I also wish to tell you that a wide-scale civil collision was masterminded with an engagement of police army and the perpetrators were aiming at making the State use its power against our own people and citizens. Of course, we prevented it. We had all the risks assessed well in advance and we did not make it happen. However, what actually happened - let me repeat - is utterly bad and unfortunate, however I wish to remind everyone that violence happens everywhere and in any country of the world. Let me remind several facts to our public: in the heart of Europe - France and not only, in Great Britain, everywhere - we remember uninterrupted violent, aggressive street rallies and demonstrations lasting weeks and wounding dozens and hundreds of people. Many died or were wounded. We also remember the violent, aggressive street rallies in the USA that lasted months. Private cars were set on fire and private property got damaged in many cities, people were killed... Let me repeat that we assessed these risks well in advance in our country and said that this is impermissible. We told the LGBT community and Ambassadors of our partner countries prior to the event that the so-called parade on Rustaveli Avenue contained provocative signs and nature, thus making it unjustified to be held downtown. Violence, offences and crime happening in a state may not be generalized. Of course, it may happen any time, in any country, but it does not mean that it should ultimately lead to chaos and disorder. I wish to once again state that I personally guarantee that all the offenders participating in the referred provocation will be exemplary punished. I do not want to talk about speculations as the investigation is working on several versions, covering the insights on how the mentioned aggressive individuals happened to be targeting journalists and cameramen in their attacks. This is a legitimate question, which should be addressed by the investigation. There is a version that the referred provocation may have been masterminded by the revenging, radical power. We remember it well and nobody will forget the methods with which the referred offenders and killers were governing our country, when even terrorist attacks were planned to achieve their political goals against our population.
As for the rally held yesterday in general, I wish to share my own opinion and assessment with the public. There were classic anti-state, anti-church and therefore anti-national messages that were voiced yesterday. We witnessed aggressive calls for jailing the Patriarch. I do apologize for repeating it publicly. They were also calling for our resignation. This is understandable. It is normal. It is their dream. However, I wish to tell the public who was calling for all these. In general, we welcome the presence of an independent, unbiased media in our country and we do our best to develop a free and unbiased media community in the country to have unbiased journalists. We will do everything required to make it happen. I once again express my respect to them, as many professionals are working in media, but let us stay away from being deceived - without extra coquetry - let us say straight - opposition television companies well known by public - Mtavari Arkhi, TV Pirveli and Formula - are directly managed by Saakashvili and embezzled public funds. Respectively, agendas of the UNM and revenging, radical power are absolutely identical. They have one common goal to somehow overthrow the government and come to power by violence again, which is of course unachievable. We will not let it happen! I wish to remind them that the only way to come to power is through elections, my friends. You are well aware that several elections are ahead. They have been losing all the previous ones and will lose the upcoming one again. We will have a convincing victory at the upcoming elections.
I wish to once again share my own assessment of why we went against the so-called parade. Well, why is it called a parade, to start with? I know only one parade that is held in our country and that is of our army. Other names and locations exist for any other event that may be held for the freedom of expression. Police did offer them several. Let me remind the public that LGBT community was gathering prior to that for 3 days absolutely with no barriers and celebrating this week. No restrictions or aggression were witnessed. Police prevented all of the latter. However, when 95% of our population is against a demonstratively promotional march or parade, we should all comply with it, my friends. It is the viewpoint of an absolute majority of our population. Being an elected choice of our people, our authorities need to be considerate of it. We will always do so. It will no longer happen that minorities decide the fate of the majority in this country, when any decision was taken in a violent manner. This is not a signature of future.
Let me remind the public that we did our best to assure the freedom of expression as promulgated in the Constitution of Georgia and guaranteed by law. Inter alia, we passed an Anti-Discrimination Law to eradicate discrimination of any form and our citizens have no problem towards people of different orientation in ordinary, daily life, however when events get organized in a provocative manner with a political agenda - it is unacceptable. We will contradict this as we know who is behind it. Political agenda is backing this, nothing else. Police have detained offenders. No compromise will be made from our side. We should not let it happen. We remind every abuser that they will be held accountable. On the other hand, police worked at a very high level when there was a risk of clash between the conflicting sides on the following day and 100 individuals were detained at the rally. Almost 3500 policemen were deployed in the capital city on July 5. Let me remind you that we expected the main event to start from 17:00 to 18:00. Of course, these violent facts were not in the intestates of the Government or Church either. Respectively, it was only within the interests of one individual and one revenging political power. It may be said quite freely that it was within the interests of Russia as well to instill national division. Perpetrators wanted to see a split in the society again by even presenting the European values in a wrong manner, by discrediting it. All of these, of course, are well conceptualized by our opponents, but they intentionally repeat and do what is not within the interests of our country.
Thus, I wish to once again tell our public that we have absolutely full control over the situation. Any individual has the right to gather at any time - be it media representative, opposition media or other - and express own opinion within the frameworks of the law and Constitution of Georgia. However, I wish to say herewith that any attempt of going beyond the law or Constitution, will be prevented with maximum severity. Everyone will be punished most harshly in the name of the State and law, if and when they go beyond the law or Constitution of Georgia.
We now have a new main agenda to advance our country and quickly recover our economy. We have a positive trend and you may well agree that a very high economic growth was achieved in the volume of 45%, while 25% was witnessed in May. Our economy grew by 11% in the first 5 months of the year.
We are launching very significant renovation programs in every municipality of the country in the coming 1-2 weeks.
Sadly, destructive opposition forces want to derail all these plans. They will not be able to prevent this. We stand as a guarantee to making this process and development path continue in future. Of course, we will have elections in October and we should all - the entire State - be mobilized and we are indeed to hold elections in the most open and peaceful manner so that our citizens once again make their choice.
Herewith, let me share information on the most recent decision: We are appointing two Deputy Prime Ministers of Georgia today. Ms. Thea Tsulukiani and Mr. Levan Davitashvili will serve as Deputy Prime Ministers from now on.