As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today accepted credentials of the newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Greece Nikolaos Piperigos.
AZERTAC publishes some excerpts from President Ilham Aliyev's remarks at the meeting.
“I believe there have been several issues that negatively affected our cooperation. One of them is related to the Greek gas company “DESFA”. I can say that our energy company SOCAR joined the bidding for the purchase of “DESFA” at the request of the Greek government. The former Prime Minister of Greece, Mr. Samaras, personally asked me for SOCAR to participate in the tender. As a result of an open tender, SOCAR made the best offer and won the right to own “DESFA”. This was also important in terms of our plans to build the Southern Gas Corridor. That was about six years ago. At that time, of course, we were simply planning to build a connection between Azerbaijan and Europe, and we thought that if Azerbaijan was to supply gas to Greece, it would be good to have a company that distributes this gas. In any case, we made an advance payment of 40 million euros, which is 10 percent of the price, and for four years – from 2014 to 2018 – the money was at the disposal of the Greek government. Unfortunately, the previous government of Greece did everything to deprive SOCAR of this right.”
“I would like to reiterate that we originally obtained this legitimate right at the suggestion of the Greek prime minister, in an open and competitive tender, but were deprived of this legitimate right for political reasons due to the negative attitude of the previous government of Greece towards Azerbaijan. This certainly had a serious negative impact on our already low-level relations. Frankly, we then decided that if the government of Greece was treating us like that, we would have to think about how we would respond. Our response was to do virtually nothing. We did not make any demarche. We did not take any diplomatic steps.”
“So this was a very disappointing issue and, of course, I think it had a serious impact on our relations. But, let me say again that this wasn’t done on the initiative of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has always supported the development of relations. In fact, you certainly know that TAP was not the only option for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas. There were several options for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to Turkey. It could have been in a different direction. However, the choice of TAP was also a decision made by investors, foreign oil companies and Azerbaijan. In other words, for our part, we made a positive gesture to Greece. But after the previous government came to power – I want to emphasize this because before the former Syriza government came to power, we had very good relations with the governments of Greece.”
As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today accepted credentials of the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Greece to Azerbaijan, Nikolaos Piperigos.
AZERTAC presents some excerpts from President Ilham Aliyev's remarks at the meeting.
“It is not Azerbaijan that has occupied the territory of Armenia – Armenia has occupied Azerbaijani territory. This is reflected in the documents of all international organizations.”
“The last issue I want to touch upon is the recent tension between Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean region. I can tell you, and it is no secret, that Turkey is not only our friend and partner, but also a brotherly country for us. Without any hesitation whatsoever, we support Turkey and will support it in any circumstances. We see the same support from our Turkish brothers. They support Azerbaijan on all issues, and we support them on all issues, including the issue of exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“I want you to know our position. This position has already been officially announced by the Azerbaijani government on my instructions. I can tell you again that Turkey is not only a friend but a brotherly country for us. The Turks are our brothers. So we will be with them in all matters.”
“I want to find something positive to touch upon, but unfortunately I can't find it. Perhaps we hope that the new government of Greece, which came to power relatively recently, will reconsider the policy of the previous government against Azerbaijan.”
“We can restore contacts and discuss issues that create positive dynamics. But, of course, that will depend on the policy and position of the Greek government.”
Tbilisi, 3 September 2020– Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, announced the launch of #She’sNext free online educational program for Georgian women entrepreneurs and small business owners in partnership with Women for Tomorrow and Forbes Woman Georgia as part of the global She’s Next initiative.
Launched in 2019 in the United States, today She’s Next, Empowered by Visa is expanding globally as a part of Visa’s ongoing commitment to support micro and small businesses overall and female entrepreneurs in particular.
Small and micro businesses are at the heart of the current economic crisis, many have been forced to close or are struggling to stay afloat. While there is a high demand for e-commerce, to further elevate the capabilities of digital payment experiences in Georgia Visa has implemented a number of initiatives for secure and widely available online payment capabilities for SMEs. Visa has launched in Georgia Visa Small Business Hub, an online platform providing tools and information on how to start, run and grow small businesses, as well as special offers from Visa partners to support SMEs.
The She’s Next campaign is designed to further empower female entrepreneurs by offering educational and networking activities for female entrepreneurs.
Within the 1st wave of Georgia’s She’s Next campaign, Visa in partnership with Forbes Woman Georgia, is launching She’s Next portal to feature stories of women in business. The stories reflect on the way She’s Next Ambassadors have gone to build their business. As a part of the educational program, Visa and Women for Tomorrow will host 4 webinars from leading business women, coaches, experts and motivational speakers in the period of September, 7-28, 2020.
Women entrepreneurs and small business owners will be able to develop their practical skills and gain knowledge in various aspects of business management, personal development, crisis management strategies, and negotiation skills. The educational program and inspiring success stories will provide the program attendees with the necessary practical tools and inspiration to create, develop and scale a competitive business in different industries and fields.
The list of speakers of the program includes: Nina Kobakhidze, Chair of the board of Business leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”; Nino Zambakhidze, Chairwoman of Georgian Farmers’ Association; Irma Daushvili, Co-Founder and General Director, DIO; Tinatin Rukhadze, Founder and General Director of the global research-consultancy company “ACT”; Tamar Kerdzaia, Rector of the European University, Natalia Toloraia, Founder and General Director, Natali Group; Rusudan Telia, Co-Founder and Executive Director of ACT Global; Ketevan Qvartskhava, Partner of the BLC Law Office.
“Small businesses are the backbone of local economies around the world. They are the biggest employers, job creators and contributors to the national GDP. At Visa, empowering female entrepreneurs is a business imperative. We support their growth and success and are committed to providing women-owned small businesses with tools, resources, insights and networking opportunities that can help them grow their businesses.” – said Cristina Doros, Visa Country Manager for the Caucasus Region. “Our educational program in Georgia as a part of the global She's Next initiative will help women acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to develop and transform their businesses. Today, small and medium-sized businesses are one of the most affected by the pandemic sectors of the economy. Such assistance is extremely important for the adaptation of business to the new reality and its further sustainable development."
“Our main objective is to enhance women’s role in our country’s economic growth and development through supporting our members in pursuing their career goals. Women for Tomorrow is a strategic driver that unites women business leaders, entrepreneurs, top-level managers, young women in leadership and companies involved in mediation with public agencies and representative bodies. Together we will be able to enhance women’s economic role by eliminating financial, social and legal barriers.” – said Nina Kobakhidze, Chair of the board of Business leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”.
#She’sNext educational program in Georgia kicks off on Monday, September 7, 11:00 with the first webinar on the topic: “Power of Leadership - How Do Women Generate Leadership & What Skills Do Women Need to Be an Effective Leader?”
Speakers of the webinar:
- Nina Kobakhidze, Chair of the board of Business leaders’ Federation “Women for Tomorrow”
Nino Kobakhidze’s name is associated in developing various initiatives in the public (governmental and community levels) and private sector. Among her multiple initiatives and achievements, there are: structural reforms for effective public administration, activation of the international education center, establishment of the Solidarity Fund and other student related social projects stand out. She held the position of the deputy chief of the Administration of the Government of Georgia.
- Nino Zambakhidze, Chairwoman of Georgian Farmers’ Association.
Since 2013 Nino has been holding the position of agricultural advisor at Partnership Fund. Since 2008 she has been an Executive Director of Agro Complex LTD “Georgian Business Zone”. In 2010 Nino founded “Regional Development Association”. She was awarded with a national business-prize “Merkury 2011” where she received an honorable title of “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year”. She was the first woman chosen as a coordinator of “Invest in Future” organization created in 2012 under the patronage of Hilary Clinton.
- Cristina Doros, Visa Regional Manager for the Caucasus Region
Cristina Doros oversees Visa’s growth of the electronic payments business in Caucasus region. Since 2016, Cristina joined Visa to lead the regional Core Products team, and has been representing acting Vice-President, Head of Solutions, Visa CISSEE since 2019. Cristina is one of the CISSEE representatives in CEMEA Women’s Leadership Network and key lead of regional diversity initiatives.
The educational program is available free for all pre-registered participants.
Detailed information about #She’sNext educational program is available on Visa Facebook.
Online registration for the 1st webinar “Power of Leadership - How Do Women Generate Leadership & What Skills Do Women Need to Be an Effective Leader” is available via the link: bit.do/shesnextgeorgia
Today, I had a very good conversation with U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen. We discussed all key issues of the U.S.- Georgia strategic partnership, as well as the ways to enhance our robust cooperation. Our strategic partnership is at the highest level and is based on common values and shared geostrategic interests.
I thanked Senator Van Hollen for U.S. Senate’s support to our country in light of progress made by Georgia in the process of democratic consolidation. Senator emphasized Georgia’s significant contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan. We expressed readiness to continue working together in order to further strengthen our strategic partnership.
We have also discussed Russia’s continuous occupation of, and the difficult security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. The Senator once again reiterated the bipartisan support of the U.S. Congress to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.