Parliaments Autumn Sessions Open Today
The Georgian Parliament will open autumn sessions today.
The first plenary session will be held on September 2 and one of the topics of discussion will be the vetoed bill on the National Bank of Georgia.
The parliamentary majority is sure that the President’s vetoed bill will be overridden, while the opposition says they will not support the separation of the supervisory function from the National Bank.
The Members of Parliament will also consider the bill on the Prosecutor’s Office and the amendments to the Law on Public Service.
New Cabinet Led by Giorgi Gakharia Wins a Vote of Confidence in Parliament
The Government of Georgia led by Giorgi Gakharia wins a unanimous vote of confidence, with 85 votes in favor, in the Parliament.
The Cabinet features one new member, namely Gocha Lortkipanidze who will serve as Justice Minister.
The legislative body also voted in favor of the 2021-2024 Government Program: Toward Building a European State.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Opposition Reject Election Results, Hit the Streets
Georgia’s major opposition parties, including the United National Movement of ex-President Saakashvili, European Georgia, Lelo, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Labor Party, hit the streets on Sunday afternoon, rejecting the preliminary results of the October 31 parliamentary vote, that forecast the Georgian Dream to form a third consecutive government.
The opposition claims the Georgian Dream “usurped power,” and rigged the elections, citing, among others, discrepancies in a number of final vote tallies. The key local election watchdogs said they identified the discrepancies in some 7 or 8% of the summary protocols. The opposition politicians argue the united opposition forces garnered more votes in total than the incumbent ruling party.
Protesting the “stolen elections,” the opposition leaders and protesters are rallying towards the hilltop residence of GD leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, after blocking Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Georgian capital, outside the Parliament.
In the meantime, Gigi Ugulava of the European Georgia party, announced the opposition parties will organize a large-scale rally on November 8.
Georgia held Saturday’s parliamentary vote under a significantly modified system, which changed the composition of 150-member parliament to 120 MPs elected through proportional, party-lists, and 30 elected as majoritarians (from 77/73 ratio) and set threshold at 1% of votes. According to the results of 98.86% precincts counted, Georgian Dream garnered 48,1% of proportional votes, while the United National Movement-led Strength in Unity bloc came second with 27.12%. European Georgia scored third with 3.77%.
Preliminary results also show GD victory in 13 single-mandate constituencies, while runoffs are expected in 17 districts, including in all 8 districts of the capital city of Tbilisi.
MP Irma Inashvili, leader of Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots party, that is at odds with UNM and other opposition parties, also announced that today her party rejects the results, vowing to hold separate rallies.
THIRD SESSION OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKMENISTAN AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES WAS HELDTHIRD SESSION OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON COOPERATION BETWEEN TURKMENISTAN AND THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES WAS HELD
On the 21st of October, 2020, the third session of the Joint Committee on Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates was held through videoconferencing. The Turkmen delegation was headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, while the Emirates side was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
After exchanging warm greetings and highlighting the high dynamics of development of bilateral relations, the Ministers started to discuss a number of key issues in political-diplomatic, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres. The high level of trustworthy dialogue between the leadership of two countries was underlined. It was also specifically noted that the high-level contacts play the primary role in further promotion of interstate ties.
The Ministers reiterated the importance of cooperation between the external policy agencies of the two states. Emphasizing that at present year the 25th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates has been reached, the parties expressed satisfaction with the results of the work accomplished during the past period. Special accent was made on collaboration within international organizations, including the UN, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement. Gratitude expressed to the Emirates side for the support of Turkmenistan’s Neutrality and the initiatives of the state in the area of energy and ecological security, sustainable transport, sport and others. As is known, Turkmenistan is calling for the advancement of peaceful dialogue, emphasizes the role of preventive diplomacy and adheres to the “open door” policy. In this regard, the Turkmen side noted the significance of the UN General Assembly resolution declaring 2021 as the Year of International Peace and Trust initiated by the President of Turkmenistan. It was especially noted that Turkmenistan will be glad to welcome representatives from the UAE on the occasion of the relevant events planned for the upcoming year.
Speaking about the threats and challenges of the present, the parties noted the significance of strengthening international cooperation in combatting the global pandemic. The Ministers exchanged views on further steps for overcoming the social and economic impacts of the pandemic on world scale.
The trade and economic relations between the two countries were thoroughly discussed. The interest of both states in expanding the spectrum of cooperation between the governmental and private entities, as well as the enhancement of the investment climate was expressed. An exchange of views took place on the application and development of transport potential of Turkmenistan and the UAE. It concerned the issue of setting in motion the maritime, railway and air transport, application of port infrastructure for the promotion of bilateral and multilateral trade and economic relations. In this regard, the importance of the World “EXPO-2020” was stressed, in which Turkmenistan intends to take active part. It was noted that Turkmenistan is open for cooperation on the implementation of the energy and infrastructural projects, particularly the construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.
The parties underlined the importance of “green economy” and exchanged views on the use of stable energy, advancement of innovative technologies and expert knowledge in the field of renewable energy. In this regard, the interest of Turkmenistan in expanding collaboration in the framework of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was expressed.
The Ministers discussed the issues of cultural and humanitarian scope and spoke for the strengthening of practical cooperation in the area of science, education, culture and sport.
In the end of the session, the parties expressed satisfaction with the successful work of the current meeting and spoke for the upkeep of active work of the third session of the Joint Committee on Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates for the coming future.
Upon the outcomes of the talks, Protocol of the Third Session of the Joint Committee on Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates.
The Embassy of Switzerland welcomes the adoption of the constitutional amendments
The Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia welcomes the adoption of the constitutional amendments and trusts that the new electoral system will increase the representation of the different layers of society, including the minorities, within the new Parliament. Switzerland will assist Georgia to set up a fair and transparent electoral campaign, based on mutual respect and constructive compromise, and calls on all political actors and media to refrain from personal attacks, including against the members of the diplomatic corps.
Azerbaijan celebrates Republic Day: Relying on the roots and confidently looking to the future
Republic Day is a significant date in the life of Azerbaijan. On May 28, 1918, the Declaration of Independence of Azerbaijan was proclaimed in the historical Viceroy’s Palace in that time Tiflis. Thus, the centuries-old tradition of statehood of the Azerbaijani people was revived in a new form of secular democratic republic. Becoming the first republic in the Muslim East, Azerbaijan affirmed the equal rights of all its citizens, regardless of gender, religious, ethnic or social affiliation. In the country, earlier than among many leading European nations, women's suffrage was guaranteed. All ethnic groups were represented in the Parliament of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR).
Noteworthy is such an important circumstance as – ADR closely coordinated its efforts in the foreign policy arena with the Georgian Democratic Republic. So, in 1919, our countries concluded a defensive pact against the common threat posed by Denikin’s troops. The independence of both states was de facto recognized by the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers under a decision of January 11, 1920. It is truly symbolic that the sketch of the ADR coat of arms, taken as the basis of the current coat of arms of the Republic of Azerbaijan, was proposed by Prince Alexander Shervashidze, who was then in Baku.
Alas, that time global political situation did not allow Azerbaijan to maintain its independence. In April 1920, Baku was occupied by the Red Army. And less than a year later, the Georgian Democratic Republic fell under the blows of the Bolsheviks. All this once again demonstrated that the destinies of our countries are intertwined with history. The successes of one lead to the good of the other. And vice versa, the trouble of one is reflected in the next.
Being a part of the USSR, Azerbaijan also strove to develop friendly contacts with Georgia; outstanding representatives of the intelligentsia of both countries were connected by warm and close relations. Our peoples continued to crave for each other. The crown of this cooperation was the friendship between the leaders of the republics – Heydar Aliyev and Eduard Shevardnadze, whose activities laid the foundations for the restoration of the countries’ independence.
Returning to the leadership in Azerbaijan after the collapse of the Soviet Union and taking the country away from the edge of the abyss in 1993, Heydar Aliyev began to systematically strengthen the foundations of statehood. He became a true architect of the today’s Republic of Azerbaijan, identifying key areas and a strategy for its development. It is no coincidence that the main export pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, the construction of which through the territory of Georgia became the triumph of Heydar Aliyev’s oil diplomacy, is inextricably linked with his name.
Relying on the strong foundation of modern effective statehood, the Republic of Azerbaijan, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, has developed successes in all areas: reducing poverty from almost 45% in 2003 to less than 5% by now, developing social infrastructure, technological modernization, stimulating the non-oil sector, ensuring dynamic stability within the country and strengthening its prestige in the international arena. In this connection, it’s enough to recall at least such momentous events as the election of Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from a group of Eastern European states for 2012-2013 and the country's chairmanship in the Non-Aligned Movement, uniting 120 states, which began in 2019.
Azerbaijan is successfully building up cooperation in all significant vectors: from the European Union to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the Council of Europe, from NATO to UNESCO, etc. Of course, the strengthening of strategic partnership with neighboring countries occupies a special place in the system of priorities, and among them Georgia traditionally plays the role of our closest good neighbor, whose brotherhood has passed the test of the long history and the collisions of the present stage.
Our countries, like a hundred years ago, continue to coordinate their activities, invariably provide mutual support to each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Like a hundred years ago, we have similar problems, we feel common pain. One fifth of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan is under occupation. A fifth of Georgia’s territory has also been occupied.
The people and the state of Azerbaijan are determined to restore international law and justice, to ensure the violated rights of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons who have been subjected to ethnic cleansing in their own country and forcibly expelled from their homes. Strengthening the Azerbaijani state’s power significantly increased the ability to assert its rights and eliminate the consequences of the illegal use of force against it. And everyone can be sure that the success of Azerbaijan in this direction will create conditions for improving the situation in the region as a whole.
Today, celebrating Republic Day, the Azerbaijani people rely on their own strengths and actively use the potential of international cooperation. We are convinced that only by developing a mutually beneficial partnership it’s possible to confidently continue forwarding on the path of progress and prosperity. In its turn, the progress and prosperity of Azerbaijan will always benefit its good neighbors and Georgia, of course, in the first instance.
Press Service of the Embassy
of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Georgia