BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- A herd of wild Asian elephants had left their habitat and trekked about 500 km in Yunnan, southwest China. Thanks to protection measures, the herd returned to their "home" safely after a 17-month adventure. The tour is shared by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan congratulated Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia on the Day of Independence of Georgia today.
As noted in the congratulatory letter, Azerbaijan and Georgia have historically established a strong friendship and kind neighborly relations and current cooperation, which will serve to the development of interaction between Azerbaijan and Georgia.
"Allow me to congratulate you on the national holiday of the country - Day of Independence of Georgia - and convey my best wishes.
Azerbaijan and Georgia are connected with a strong friendship and kind neighborly relations that were historically established between our nations. Currently, high level interaction between our countries is based on the kind will of our people who are loyal to these great traditions.
I believe that our strategic partnership, jointly implemented wide-scale projects and cooperation, which is expanding day after day, will serve to the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia and prosperity of our people in future as well.
It brings me pleasure to recall meetings and honest discussions with you. I am confident that decisions made within the scope of Intergovernmental Commissions and implementation of reached agreements will facilitate a further strengthening of our bilateral relations.
On this outstanding day I want to wish you a sound health and success in your work, while everlasting peace and prosperity to the friendly people of Georgia" reads the congratulatory letter.
Press Service of the Government Administration
On the 23rd of May 2022, we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Georgia and Portugal. Throughout these three decades, our countries have much benefited from fruitful bilateral relations, grounded on common interests and the shared values such as freedom, respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law, effective multilateralism and the rules-based international order, also translated into enhanced people-to-people contacts.
We cherish our friendship, through which Georgia became closer to the Lusophone world, namely, by acquiring status of associated observer at the CPLP. The fruitful activity of the Portuguese Center “Camoes” at Tbilisi State University is another concrete demonstration of aspiration for the closer ties to the Lusophone culture.
Based upon the value-based partnership, Portugal reaffirms its strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, the non-recognition policy and the peaceful conflict resolution efforts by the Government of Georgia.
The recent opportunity of keeping bilateral political dialogue vibrant between our countries has been the meeting of the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Marrakesh on the 11th of May.
Cooperation and friendship between Georgia and Portugal are not limited to the bilateral level. Our two countries have a long history of mutual support in international organisations, mainly in the realm of the United Nations. Cooperation in the frames of the EU is enhancing, in both bilateral and multilateral domains, especially against the backdrop of current geopolitical changes and Georgia’s EU membership aspirations. Georgia’s EU membership application is recognised as country’s legitimate right to choose its own destiny. We remain committed to supporting a strong, independent and prosperous Georgia in its way towards alignment with the EU. Georgia is one of the NATO’s closest partners and Portugal supports Georgia’s reform efforts and its goal of Euro-Atlantic integration.
The special occasion that we now commemorate represents not only a reason to celebrate, but a valuable moment to show our mutual commitment to broadening and deepening our bilateral agenda in the political, economic and cultural domains, for the benefit of our peoples and the prosperity of our countries.
MFA of Georgia
The Speaker, H.E. Shalva Papuashvili held a meeting with the Chair of the Friendship Group with Georgia of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Halil Etyemez and the Group members. According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, the parties overviewed the years of close and productive cooperation between Georgia and Turkey in various sectors and hailed the recent intensification of the links between the Parliaments. The parties touched upon the regional cooperation. Mr. Papuashvili noted that Georgia attaches utmost importance to the Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan trilateral cooperation.
The emphasis was made on the importance of the enhancement of regional peace.
The Speaker expressed his gratitude to the Turkish MPs for their support to the sovereignty, territorial integrity of Georgia and the non-recognition policy. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to further boosting the strategic partnership.
Over 10,000 farmers in Heilongjiang Province, NE China, are pumped for a special train that will take them to the fields at the Sanjiang Plain. With the Spring farming season in full swing, they are raring to get to work.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service
European Union Ambassador Carl Hartzell has congratulated the people of Georgia on Independence Day, saying that the EU remains unwavering in its support of Georgia’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
He added that in these difficult times, the EU stands in solidarity not only with Ukraine, but also with Georgia, and “cherishes the deep bonds that exist between us. Bonds that we wish to see growing stronger.”
Hartzell also reminded that on 3 March, the Government of Georgia applied for EU membership, “which reflects the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of its population”.
“Georgia has made a choice founded on its historical values. Now is the moment for Georgia to act decisively to demonstrate its determination on this European path,” said Hartzell.
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To tackle the current threats of life and stability from wars and conflicts, HWPL’s 9th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace was held online on May 25th, 2022. With 3,000 participants as representatives from politics, religion, academia, media and civil society, the event with the theme of “Institutionalizing Peace: Realizing the Collective Will for Peace” presented the progress of international cooperation to realize sustainable peace ensured by legal instruments.
The host organization, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), proclaimed the Declaration of World Peace back in 2013. The declaration addresses the endorsement of national leaders, engagement of women and youth, cooperation among civil societies, and expansion of media coverage on peace. Afterward, it was developed into the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) as a process to establish international legal instruments for global peace.
Young Min Chung, the General Director of the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), an affiliate group of HWPL, said in his progress report, “730,000 citizens from 176 countries have signed in support of the DPCW for the past nine years which allows them to express their opinions in the most direct way. Recently, the IPYG is running the Youth Empowerment Peace Workshop (YEPW), where they discuss the agendas such as education, human rights, and conflicts and conduct joint action as well as policy proposals.“
The 10 articles and 38 clauses of the DPCW include prevention and resolution of conflicts, gradual reduction of war potential and turning weapons into daily tools, respecting and resolving conflicts based on religion and ethnic identity, and spreading a culture of peace. The declaration is geared towards engaging nations, international organizations, NGOs, and individual citizens in taking actions for a peaceful world.
As for the collaboration for peacebuilding, Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL appealed to the participants to be united as “messengers of peace” “to bring freedom and peace to future generations.” “This time (Russia) invaded Ukraine and started the war. This is why HWPL and families of peace have long called for the establishment of international law to prevent war potentials. So, we gathered experts in international law globally … and made the declaration with 10 articles and 38 clauses.”
As a case of peace activities to resolve conflicts in India, MOUs among religious leaders were signed since for further cooperation with understanding religions based on comparative studies on religious scripture. In particular, the partnership between HWPL and the International Organization for Religion and Knowledge at Lampur led to erecting a peace monument to convey values of peace to local citizens.
Educators’ participation in peace-related activities was also introduced in the event. Teaching methodology with the use of Metaverse was demonstrated as a virtual world platform where students are able to experience peace by reading materials and observing diverse peace activities that are carried out in many parts of the world.
One of the participant students said, “I learned the need for an international law to achieve peace. We need a law that can achieve peace. It is important that people abide by the law and if all people become citizens of peace, we would not even need the law.”
Mr. Supalak Ganjanakhundee, Thammasat University’s Pridi Banomyong International College Visiting Fellow and former Chief Editor of The Nation in Thailand said at the journalist report in the event that the foundation of peace is closely related to democracy that serves as an opened room for “allowing participation of civil society” to peace process. Elaborating the current deadlock of the peace process in Southern Thailand, he said, “(A)ny peace process that would lead to lasting peace must address the problem at its root cause and must be conducted along the democratization with intensively participation of not only stakeholders but also civil society.”
HWPL has been developing global cooperation for peace both at the international level and at the national level by garnering the support of international organizations for the DPCW and working hand in hand to reinforce international norms to realize peace. With civil organizations, HWPL has been carrying out activities for the public good to ensure that peace takes root.
Press-release of the HWPL
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!