Juansher Burchuladze met with Ambassador Kelly Degnan
Minister of Defence of Georgia Juansher Burchuladze hosted Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Georgia Kelly Degnan. The sides discussed the security environment in the region and the threats posed by Russia. MOD of Georgia announced it recently.
The sides focused on current issues and future plans for US-Georgia bilateral defence and security cooperation, including planned high-level visits and multinational military exercises.
During the visit of US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin to Georgia, a multi-year initiative about strengthening Georgia's defence and deterrence policy signed between the two countries' defence ministries was one of the main topics of discussion.
It was underlined that the progress made as a result of the implementation of the Georgian Defence Readiness Program (GDRP) formed the basis of the agreement, which aims to further modernize and develop the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Forces and supports the country's resilience and capabilities within total defence. The US Defene Attaché, Colonel Stephanie Begley attended the meeting.
US labels Foreign Agents bill setback to Georgia's aspirations, US ability to be Georgians' partners
“We see a draft piece of legislation that would be a tremendous setback. This would be a setback to the aspirations of the people of Georgia; it would be a setback to the ability of the United States to continue to be a partner for the people of Georgia,” Ned Price, US Department spokesperson stated at the briefing.
Ned Price commented on the People’s Power-tabled bill on the Transparency of Foreign Influence that the Parliament of Georgia adopted on March 7th in its first reading.
According to the spokesperson, “anyone who is voting for this draft legislation would be responsible in part for jeopardizing those very Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Georgian people.
“You asked about the feeling here. The feeling here is one of deep concern. You have heard us express that sentiment consistently in recent days. It is a feeling of deep concern because of the potential implications of this draft law. This draft law would strike at some of the very rights that are central to the aspirations of the people of Georgia for a consolidated democracy, for Euro-Atlantic integration, and for a brighter future. It would stigmatize and silence independent voices and citizens of Georgia who wish to do nothing more than work together to build a brighter future, a future that is integrated with Europe, a future that is democratic and free, where Georgia is an independent and sovereign country,” Ned Price has said.
The spokesperson went on to say that the US was “deeply concerned and troubled, of course, for what this could mean for the people of Georgia.”
“We are so deeply concerned and troubled, of course, for what this could mean for the people of Georgia, but also because the United States has been a partner to Georgia over the course of recent decades. Ever since Georgia declared its independence, the United States has been right there with it supporting the aspirations of the Georgian people. And at the earliest days of Georgia’s independence, those aspirations were nascent. They were nothing more than an idea in some cases.
Over the course of ensuing decades, the people of Georgia have worked to realize those aspirations. They have made tremendous progress in becoming the democracy that they sought from those earliest days, in integrating Georgia into the Euro-Atlantic community and ensuring that Georgia stays on that path.
Now, however, we see a draft piece of legislation that would be a tremendous setback. This would be a setback to the aspirations of the people of Georgia; it would be a setback to the ability of the United States to continue to be a partner for the people of Georgia. I made this point yesterday, I think it was, but anyone who is voting for this draft legislation would be responsible in part for jeopardizing those very Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Georgian people. We don’t wish to see that happen. Beyond the United States, it is the EU, the UN, of course most importantly the Georgian people, Georgian civil society groups – all of them have issued strong statements of concern about this draft legislation,” Ned Price stated.
The State Department spokesperson also stated that “the best counterexample is the United States partnership with Georgia,” as the United States are concerned, that partnership could be – at least in part – jeopardized should a law like this move forward.
“The best example is the counterexample. It is an example of the type of partnership that the United States Government can have with people and countries that aspire to continue down that path of democracy, of democratic reform, of integration with Europe and the broader Euro-Atlantic region. I think the best counterexample is the United States partnership with Georgia, if you want to look at what that partnership can look like, what that partnership can feel like, and how, as we are concerned, that partnership could be – at least in part – jeopardized should a law like this move forward.
Ultimately, these are going to be the decisions of the Georgian people and the Georgian Government. It is our strong hope that the Georgian Government listens to the Georgian people. The Georgian people are speaking with a clear voice. Right now, we’re seeing some of those clear voices, those loud voices drowned out by tear gas, by efforts to suppress those – that peaceful exercise of freedom of assembly. That’s of concern to us. But ultimately, we think it’s important that governments around the world, including, of course, the government in Tbilisi, listens to its people,” Price stated.
Alluding to a question whether “there is anything that prevents the United States Government from sanctioning Mr. Ivanishvili, “who is obviously bringing up this sort of legislations,” Ned Price stated: “I don’t speak to specific individuals or entities who may be subject to U.S. or other sanctions, but we have a number of tools within our purview that would allow us to hold accountable anyone in any country around the world who is responsible for the suppression of what would otherwise be a universal human right. There are authorities that are written into various laws, into executive orders that we will look at closely in this context, as we do in any context, to hold to account those who may run afoul of what the Georgian people want and, most importantly, what the Georgian people expect and deserve in terms of their universal rights.”
Ambassador Degnan about the draft "foreign influence" laws
"These laws are aimed at blocking Georgians who are helping other Georgians. These are Georgians who are trying to address problems in their communities and provide services, whether it’s on climate change, or for business associations, or for young people, or people with disabilities, legal assistance to people who are in some cases in desperate need. These laws seem to be clearly in line with Russian law, which is aimed at stigmatizing civil society. It’s aimed at silencing dissenting voices. When you look at what’s going on in Russia right now, you see that Russian law has been very effective in silencing civil society and dissenting voices. Georgia has fought hard to build its democracy, to protect its freedoms. These laws will undermine that progress that Georgia has spent so many years building. That is why you hear concerns from the United Nations, from the European Union, from the United States, from many of Georgia’s long-standing friends, who’ve been working with Georgia for over 30 years, to help improve Georgia’s freedoms, protect Georgia’s freedoms, and build the institutions. So that is why people are very concerned. Georgia does not need this law". - Ambassador Degnan about the draft "foreign influence" laws.
US Embassy in Georgia
Ambassador Herczynski’s message on the one year mark of Russia’s war in Ukraine
Ambassador Herczynski’s message on the one year mark of Russia’s war in Ukraine. It has been one year since Russia launched its unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.
This ongoing war is an unprecedented violation of fundamental values and principles of international law.
Ukraine was attacked because it wanted to decide about its future by itself, not with dictate from Moscow.
According to the UN Charter, as a victim of aggression, Ukraine has the inherent right to defend itself.
The EU remains resolute, united and determined in our support to Ukraine on all fronts: humanitarian, economic, political, diplomatic and military.
This is not just an aggression against Ukraine, a sovereign country, but aggression against democracy worldwide.
This is a threat to all countries, because what is at stake is their independence and sovereignty to make choices based on their own decisions.
The EU is working towards the widest possible international condemnation and isolation of Russia by the international community.
Our unity with like-minded international partners has been unwavering and we are taking unprecedented actions together.
Georgia has been actively participating in these efforts.
Six United Nations General Assembly resolutions confirm the international condemnation and isolation of Russia.
The EU’s support for Ukraine will not diminish the attention to other partners. On the contrary, unequivocal and resolute response to Russia’s war in Ukraine must be maintained to hold the aggressor accountable.
Georgia’s close cooperation with the EU, based on shared understanding of our common European values is a solid foundation to build an ever stronger EU-Georgia relationship. The EU has given a clear European perspective to Georgia, with concrete steps to receive EU candidate status. This process is merit-based and reform driven.
At the same time, Russian and other disinformation actors seek to manipulate the information space to echo pro-Kremlin narratives and propaganda, obstruct integration, sow divisions and diminish solidarity. We need to be vigilant, strengthen our resilience and cooperate closely to counter these malicious activities.
Ukraine is fighting for values the Europe is built on.
Ukraine’s fight is our fight.
Ukraine must prevail.
Glory to Ukraine!
Prime Minister meets Ambassador of United Arab Emirates to Georgia
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Ahmed Ebrahim Ahmed Taher Al Nuaimi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Georgia.The conversation at the introductory meeting covered the relations between the two countries and prospects of future cooperation.The Head of Government congratulated the diplomat on his appointment as Ambassador to Georgia and wished him success in his future endeavors.It was underlined that the Georgian Prime Minister’s visit to the United Arab Emirates was yet another step toward strengthening the friendship and partnership between the countries. The Prime Minister thanked the Ambassador for the UAE Government’s hospitality and warm reception during his visit to the United Arab Emirates.Emphasis was placed on the friendship and close partnership between the two countries. Commitment to furthering cooperation across a variety of areas was expressed.Press Service of the Government Administration
Tamar Shioshvili Center for American Studies is opened at IBSU
The Tamar Shioshvili Center for American Studies was opened at the International Black Sea University. US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan attended the opening ceremony.
The rector of the university, Dr. Saffet Bayraktutan mentioned the following at the opening of the center: "The English-language program of American Studies has been operating at IBSU for 20 years, which is headed by Professor Tamar Shioshvili. "It is the result of Mrs. Tamar's efforts, that today we have such an outstanding program at the university and have so many successful graduates and students. By opening the center, we are commemorating the 30th anniversary of US-Georgia diplomatic relations, and I hope that the cooperation with the strategic partner will continue successfully in the future".
US Ambassador Kelly Degnan thanked Tamar Shioshvili for the activities she has been conducting for years to popularize America in Georgia. The ambassador noted that the opening of the Center for American Studies and the discussion of American studies issues here help to deepen the friendship between the people of the two countries.
The Tamar Shioshvili Center for American Studies houses a library that has been filled with books donated to the American Studies program over the years. In the center, BA, MA and PhD programs students of American studies will work on their research topics and those researches will be reviewed by the Georgian and American professors of the field.
The International Black Sea University's American studies undergraduate program was opened in 2002, after Professor Tamar Shioshvili participated in the American studies curriculum design program forum in 2001, with the funding of the US State Department. The forum intended to get to know and study the specific, traditional and leading programs of American studies in the US universities of George Washington, Michigan, New Mexico, Penn State and Memphis.
In 2004, Tamar Shioshvili became the holder of a Fulbright grant from the US State Department and a researcher at the George Washington University's Department of American Studies. This gave her an opportunity to develop a bachelor's program and create an English-language master's program and in 2007, the only English-language American studies doctoral program was opened in Georgia.
Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started
Silk Road Tbilisi 2015 forum started today. Following the success of the inaugural Routes Silk Road...
Agreement between SES and GEE
A new multi-year agreement was signed between worldwide satellite operator SES and Global Eagle Ente...
Visa free regime to impose for 15 February
The visa regime imposed by Georgia to Iran has been cancelled for 15 February,” -the Deputy Ambassad...
USA to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia
U.S. Department of State to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia. According to the budgetary d...