Georgian Foreign Minister has conveyed his condolences to his German colleague over the terrorist act in BerlinWednesday, 21 December 2016 16:38
“Georgia strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and representations, which poses threat to peace and stability both in Europe and beyond. In the face of so many challenges in the present-day world, we wish to express our solidarity with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in its efforts to maintain and further strengthen security in Europe. My dear colleague, in this hour of tragedy, let me convey my sincere condolences to the families of the victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have been affected by this horrific act”.
The 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council will take place on 8 and 9 December 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. The event will be held at the invitation of the 2016 OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The Ministerial Council is the central decision-making and governing body of the OSCE. The meeting, held annually, provides the foreign ministers of the 57 OSCE participating States an opportunity to review and assess the Organization's activities and strengthen the dialogue on security issues in the OSCE area.
Leading members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s election observation mission to the 8 October parliamentary elections in Georgia arrived today in Tbilisi for final preparations of the observation mission. Ignacio Sanchez Amor (MP, Spain), who has been appointed by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Frank-Walter Steinmeier as Special Co-ordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission, and Guglielmo Picchi (MP, Italy), who serves as Head of the OSCE PA delegation of observers, held several meetings today, and are expected to be joined by dozens of other parliamentarians tomorrow.
Addressing short-term OSCE observers today, Sanchez Amor stressed the importance of the elections and the need for vigorous and impartial observation. “It is clear that this election is not only important in the eyes of Georgians, but also in the eyes of all of the governments that have sent us to be here,” he said. “As observers, we have a great obligation as the eyes and ears – and the voice – of the international community.”
Sanchez Amor and Picchi will tomorrow address observers from the four parliamentary assemblies participating in the international election observation mission – the OSCE PA, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO PA, and the European Parliament.
Picchi echoed Sanchez Amor’s comments. “As observers, and particularly as parliamentarians who have competed in elections ourselves, it is our duty to bring our critical eye to this process, but to also be fair and to base our assessment on the broadest information possible,” he said today.
Picchi and Sanchez Amor conducted a pre-electoral visit  to Georgia last month, holding meetings with President Giorgi Margvelashvili, members of the Central Election Commission, representatives from major political parties, observers from the OSCE/ODIHR, civil society representatives, as well as members of the diplomatic community in Tbilisi.
They met with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for discussions on the situation in the country ahead of the elections. They also met with Ambassador Alexandre Keltchewsky (France), who is leading the OSCE/ODIHR long-term observation mission consisting of 12 international experts based in Tbilisi and 26 long-term observers deployed in teams of two around the country.
The OSCE PA has 29 members of parliament from 17 countries participating in this observation mission, which marks the 11th time the PA has observed elections in Georgia since 1995.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier thanked Prime Minister of Georgia for the hospitality demonstrated during his visit to Georgia and assessed this gesture as an indication of the friendly relations between the countries. In his letter to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany outlined success of bilateral economic relations and noted that preparations for marking 2017 as a Germany-Georgia Friendship Year and the Frankfurt Book Fair of 2018 are going full speed ahead.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed full support to the foreign course of Georgian government that, according to him, is expressed in political farsightedness of Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the constructive stance he takes in dealing with the separatist areas.
"Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the hospitality and in-depth, trust-based discussions I enjoyed during my visit in Tbilisi. As I see it, this visit was an expression of the friendly relations existing between Germany and Georgia, and I also found it very beneficial at a personal level. I am particularly pleased with the successful economic initiatives and the busy preparations for Georgia's participation in the German-Georgian year planned for 2017 and in the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair. Both events will bring Germans and Georgians closer together and intensify intercultural ties between the two countries.
I value the far-sightedness you bring to foreign policy and the constructive stance you take in dealing with the separatist areas. We will continue to do what we can do to support this policy both politically and with funding for confidence-building projects.
Be assured that I will continue to do what I can within Germany and the European Union to advocate that political, economic and cultural ties with Georgia be strengthened and visa liberalization be brought about soon," - is said in the letter.
“Today is a very important day – 1 July when the EU-Georgia Association Agreement came into force. It is a great achievement – towards which Georgia has been aspiring since the restoration of its independence. We are aspiring to the European family to which we belong, to become a European state based on European values, standards and principles” - the Georgian Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze said at a joint press conference following his meeting with his German counterpart, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
According to Janelidze, the Association Agreement has already yielded positive results in terms of economic and institutional development, as well as of Georgia’s political association with the EU and sectorial integration. “Each citizen of Georgia sees the benefits of the Association Agreement. Economic interaction with the EU Member States including with Germany gradually increases, so do investments and export. Germany provides us with considerable assistance in this direction” - Mikheil Janelidze said
On 1 July 2016 the EU-Georgia Association Agreement came into force in compliance with its Article 431, after the EU Foreign Affairs Council announced its decision to end the procedures needed for ratification of the AA. The laborious process of ratification lasted less than two years and involved the European Parliament, 28 EU Member States and the legislative bodies of Georgia. The ratification of the Association Agreement in such short terms points to the EU Member States’ firm support for Georgia’s European path.
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Minister of Foreign Affairs of German Federal Republic Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed German-Georgian bilateral relations, the EU integration agenda and regional developments.
Prime Minister of Georgia thanked Minister of Foreign Affairs of German Federal Republic for visiting Georgia and considered it to be a clear indication of partnership and friendly relations between the countries.
The conversation touched upon the importance of the 25th session of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly hosted by Tbilisi. It was noted that of the 25th session of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is one of the most significant international political event throughout 25 years of Georgia's independence. It was hoped that respective forum will reinforce Georgia's role and capacities in the context of political map.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed ongoing and planned democratic reforms as well as European integration agenda. Georgia's performance in view of liberalization of the visa regime with the EU as well as Germany's supportive role were outlined.
The conversation also touched upon the 2016 Parliamentary elections. Prime Minister emphasized the importance of holding elections in the fair, open and free environment. It was noted that the standard of pre-election period has significantly improved and profound steps have been taken to ameliorate the quality of democracy. Importance of involvement of international observing organizations was highlighted.
Parties discussed international security issues, regional developments, conditions in the occupied territories of Georgia. Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Frank-Walter Steinmeier extended their condolences over the terrorist attack in Turkey.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of German Federal Republic Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Georgia on a business trip. He will partake in 25th annual session of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Parliamentary forum under the auspices of the OSCE will be opened today in Tbilisi. More than 700 delegates representing various countries will attend the event.
By the end of his official visit to the Federal Republic of Germany Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili attended the celebratory reception marking the Independence Day of Georgia.
The event hosted by Embassy of Georgia was attended by Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmaier, who delivered a speech.
Pursuant to the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Germany wholeheartedly supports Georgia's European aspirations and cooperation process. Walter Steinmaier considers that Georgia has scrupulously complied with all the tasks set out by the Visa Liberalization Action Plan.
"I am a strong supporter of Georgia's visa liberalization issue. I understand that citizens of Georgia are willing to enjoy visa-free travel benefits with Europe, after Georgia performed the mandatory steps expected by the EU. I firmly believe and would like to emphasize that we can solve this issue and we will take right decision for both nations. However, to achieve set goal, we need to demonstrate firmness, diligent labor and unity. Our intensive dialogue throughout last 2-3 weeks has been a clear indication of the continuation of our close and constructive relations and aims at finding solutions to the existing challenges. Joint celebration of Georgia's National Holiday is a clear indication of Georgian-German unity," - Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted.
Pursuant to Steinmeier, by the 25th anniversary of its independence, Georgia managed to implement quite ambitious reforms in terms of drawing closer to Europe.
"I believe that Georgia and Georgians can be proud not only of independence, but of the centuries-old traditions in terms of Georgian language, literature and arts as well as the results that have been achieved in view of approximation and cooperation with Europe after these 25 years of independence. You can be proud of very ambitious internal reforms implemented by Georgia during this period of time. Dear Prime Minister, dear Giorgi, I would like to assure you that Germany wholeheartedly supports the process of approximation of Georgia to Europe. Similarly, as we noted during our meeting today, we support not only independence of Georgia, but also territorial integrity of Georgia. During our meeting today, we discussed the situation on the occupied territories of Georgia," - Frank-Walter Steinmeier noted.
Pursuant to him, Georgian-German relations are based on a firm fundament that is necessary to cope with the challenges faced by the both countries.
In his speech Prime Minister thanked the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany for supporting Georgia and the warm welcome. He also emphasized the need of deepening Georgian-German relations and expressed hope that the support will continue in the future as well.
" Germany was the first nation to open its embassy in Tbilisi in April 1992, which was inaugurated by one of the brightest German statesmen Hans-Dietrich Genscher, who helped the newborn state to take the very first independent steps of statehood. Since then, Germany has been a staunch supporter of Georgia's independence, sovereignty and, most importantly, of our territorial integrity. We are extremely grateful for that. Germany's support to Georgia is based on our shared values and is fundamental to us as we implement our European and Euro-Atlantic integration agenda," -Giorgi Kvirikashvili indicated.
The celebratory reception in Berlin was attended by diplomats, businessmen and politicians.
Prime Minister's Visit to the Federal Republic of Germany has started. Giorgi Kvirikashvili will hold a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The sides will discuss bilateral relations between Georgia and Germany, the cooperation issues between EU and Georgia and the regional developments. After the meeting, the Prime Minister and German Chancellor will held a joint press conference.
During the visit, Giorgi Kvirikashvili will hold bilateral meetings. Prime Minister will hold a meeting with the President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert, the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Minister for Education and Research Johanna Wanka, Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag Norbert Rottgen.
Prime Minister will deliver a public speech at the "Friedrich Ebert Foundation". He will discuss the country's foreign policy, importance of European integration as well as the situation in the region.
At Humboldt University Giorgi Kvirikashvili will deliver a lecture on the topic of "Georgia's European Way". During the visit, the Georgian-German business forum will be held with the participation of Georgian and German business representatives.
By the end of his visit to Federal Republic of Germany, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili will attend a reception marking the 25th anniversary of reclaiming independence.
The Georgian delegation includes Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, Minister of Interior Giorgi Mghebrishvili, Minister of Education Alexander Jejelava, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Keteval Bochorishvili, Business Ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament Tedo Japaridze.