Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze met with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland within the framework of his working visit in Strasbourg.
Georgia’s new action plan was discussed during the meeting. Thorbjørn Jagland said that it was an honor for him to host Georgian Prime Minister and underlined on the high quality of Georgia-CoE relations.
He said that CoE was publishing a consolidated report about Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia twice a year. “We discussed ways to how to improve accessibility to these regions and continue working on missions targeted at restoration of trust,” Thorbjørn Jagland said.
Secretary General of the Council of Europe said that Georgia was a good example of fruitful cooperation and experience sharing.
Avtandil Otinashvili, Strasbourg
Mamuka Bakhtadze: Georgia’s independence and the restoration of Georgia’s statehood is tied to the name of Zviad GamsakhurdiaMonday, 01 April 2019 15:50
Georgia's independence and the restoration of Georgia's statehood is tied to the name of Zviad Gamsakhurdia; I join my friends and bow my head to his eternal memory, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated at the exhibition held today to commemorate the 80th birth anniversary of Georgia's first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia.
To honor the first President's anniversary, the National Library displays Zviad Gamsakhurdia's photos and translations, and books about him.
"Georgia's first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia would have turned 80 today. To commemorate this date, various events are planned in Georgia's regions. His merit in Georgia's millennia-old history is extraordinary. Georgian Post has been instructed to issue anniversary stamps. That this tragedy has yet to be investigated is a shame, of course, and the investigation must be finalized," Mamuka Bakhtadze stated.
The exhibition also displays Zviad Gamsakhurdia's five-volume work from the series The Leaders of the Georgian State. The stamp issued by Georgian Post to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Zviad Gamsakhurdia was also presented.
In his visit to the exhibition, the Prime Minister was accompanied by the Speaker of Georgian Parliament and the Tbilisi Mayor.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will hold its spring session in Strasbourg from 8 to 12 April 2019, with addresses expected by the Prime Ministers of Georgia and Armenia.
The Assembly will hold joint debates on stopping hate speech and acts of hatred in sport - as well as the role of political leaders in combating hate speech - and on strengthening co-operation with the UN and implementation of the sustainable development goals.
There has been a request for an urgent debate on "The budgetary crisis at the Council of Europe".
Other topics to be discussed include promoting parliaments free of sexism and sexual harassment, the implications for human rights of social media, and a report on balancing the rights of parents, donors and children during the anonymous donation of sperm and oocytes.
The Assembly will also look at so-called “laundromats” and new challenges in combating organised crime and money-laundering, and will take a stand on the creation of a new EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights will present her annual activity report for 2018 and take questions, while there will be the usual exchange of views with the current head of the Council of Europe’s ministerial body, Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Timo Soini, and question time with Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
The Assembly will decide its final agenda on the opening day of the session.
Georgian grocery store will be opened in Belarus and tractors will be assembled at a joint venture that will operate in Georgia. It was announced at a meeting of Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia with Mikhail Rusy, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus today.
Joint production of elevators for residential blocks is also under consideration, along with a cooperation in the sector of transportation. Namely ferry transfer has a development prospect, along with a transit of cargo originating in Belarus through Ukraine and Georgia. Need of specific steps to be made for the development of logistics was underlined at the meeting. Head of Government of Georgia instructed the cabinet to discuss and agree ways on improving the logistics with the Belarussian colleagues within a Work Group format to significantly increase the bilateral trade.
Belarussian side is also interested in incorporating a joint venture to assemble tractors in Georgia. It was agreed at the meeting today that relevant partners will be solicited with support of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus also expressed readiness to have Belarussian manufacturers bid in tenders announced for the substitution of municipal busses in Tbilisi and Batumi, along with a keen interest in providing elevators with any specific configuration to an interested buyer at the Georgian market.
It was also agreed at the meeting that Belarussian side will work on the allocation of a special place in Minsk for a Georgian grocery store with a concept of AgroHub.
A landmark NATO-Georgia exercise began today at a military base near Tbilisi, involving military personnel from 24 Allies, Partner and several NATO command headquarters and affiliated centers. First Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Lela Chikovani, First Deputy Chief of Defence Forces of Georgia, Colonel Nikoloz Janjghava and Deputy Chief of the NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC), Brigade General Ladislav Jung opened the exercise at “Armyhall”, MoD.
The exercise (Computer Assisted/Command Post Exercise - CAX/CPX), is being held from 18-29 March at the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) at National Centre “Krtsanisi” and involves 343 personnel.
This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to be held in Georgia through the framework of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, but for the first time in which Georgian General Staff is leading a multinational crisis response exercise. It is also the first exercise which involves NATO planning processes from start to finish.
This exercise is designed to train a Georgian-led multinational brigade headquarters staff to plan, coordinate and execute scenario-based military responses to humanitarian crises. It is also testing the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities, also the ability to adopt a comprehensive approach to a non-article 5 crisis response, involving civil-military cooperation with international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to take place through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) framework - a set of 15 defence capacity building Initiatives agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales summit in 2014 and Warsaw Summit 2016. The first NATO-Georgia exercise was conducted in 2016 involving NATO allied and partner nations.
The brigade-level exercise is scheduled by NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), conducted by the Georgian General Staff with the mentoring of NATO LANDCOM, and directed by the NATO-Georgia Joint-Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) mentored by NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC).
This exercise will be comprised of 21 Allied Nations and 3 Partner Nations, including Georgia as the Host Nation (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, United States, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Sweden).
Humanitarian bodies like the inter-governmental organizations - International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO, observer) will also be present during the exercise providing direct feedback and mentorship to exercise participants.
Last week, members of Georgia’s Keda Local Action Group and winemakers from the region participated in a study visit to Poland.
The study tour was organised by Poland’s Malopolska Region’s self-government and aimed to exchange experiences and plan future cooperation between winemakers from Poland and Georgia.
The participants visited wine cellars, met with local winemakers, learned about their activities and shared their respective experiences in winemaking and vineyard maintenance.
In addition, meetings were held with the president of the Winemakers’ Association of the Malopolska Region and members of Polish Local Action Groups. A partnership between the winemakers’ associations of Malopolska and Adjara was initiated in the meeting with the chairman of the association and joint activities were planned in both Poland and Georgia.
The visit was organised with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture of Adjara, Georgia and the EU’s European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).
The EU is supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD programme. Implemented since 2013 with a total budget of €179.5 million, the main goal of the programme is to reduce rural poverty in Georgia.
Within the frames of the visit of the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, George Kobulia, to the Republic of Korea, an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of Georgia on Economic Cooperation was signed.
The Agreement was signed by the Vice Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee Tae-ho and the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Genadi Arveladze. The Agreement will become effective in 30 days.
With the Agreement, the Republic of Korea and Georgia agreed to explore the possibility of joint projects in areas of mutual interest, including investment, trade, tourism and industry, and to continue to strengthen economic cooperation, including people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
Georgia and the Republic of Korea will establish a joint committee to effectively implement the Agreement and to explore ways to increase economic cooperation between the two countries. The Commission will discuss the existing bilateral trade and economic relations and possibilities and opportunities for enhanced cooperation in different sectors.
The Agreement between Georgia and the Republic of Korea is targeted at expanding the economic cooperation between the two countries, including the facilitation of the Korean companies to expand their presence in Georgia.
“This Agreement will be another contributing factor to the growth of the foreign trade turnover and the development of the trade and economic cooperation. It will encourage entrepreneurs in to enter the market and implement new investment projects,” – George Kobulia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development stated after the signing of the Agreement.
Georgia and the Republic of Korea also agreed to start negotiations on conclusion of the Korea-Georgia Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement at a mutually convenient time.
The Chinese language will be to be introduced as an elective subject in Georgian schools from 2019-2020.
Georgia’s Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport says the Chinese language will be the second foreign language in schools that are interested.
The ministry added that the Chinese language will be taught as a second foreign language from the 5th grade.
"The Chinese language program has already been developed. As you know, the English language is the first foreign language in our schools, while the Chinese language can be chosen by schools as the second foreign language together with other European languages ," the Ministry reports.
Several days ago Mikheil Batiashvili, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and Ambassador of the People's Republic of China Ji Yanchi signed a Memorandum of Understanding aiming at promoting the Chinese language in Georgia.
The memorandum is based on an agreement signed between Georgia and China in the field of education, which envisages boosting relationship and cooperation between the two countries in all directions of education. It also envisages the development of relations between the educational institutions, exchange of academic staff and creating student exchange programs.
According to Batiashvili, China is one of the main partner and friend countries of Georgia and cooperation in education and science fields is crucial.
The minister noted that learning the Chinese language will give the youth new opportunities to implement business projects with Chinese partners.
Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia visited Ushguli today.
Head of Government of Georgia met with local population in the courtyard of Lamaria Church of Virgin Marry to listen to their concerns, proposals and suggestions of the local community.
Condition of roads is the main problem of locals, along with the need to restore and solidify the ancient towers, improvement of water supply system, power energy and rehabilitation of cabling.
Head of Government of Georgia shared information with locals on the significant infrastructure projects planned for 2019-2020, budgeted at 100 MLN GEL as an approved earmarking towards this end.
Prime Minister of Georgia noted that tourism is developing fast in Ushguli and it requires improvement of the respective infrastructure.
Head of Government of Georgia also spoke about urban development and noted that drafting of the Master Plan has been completed to foster the steady development of Ushguli, covering the maintenance of original houses and ancient towers.
Prime Minister of Georgia stressed the importance of greater engagement and support of locals in this process.
Local population got also interested in the program aimed at the facilitated development of guesthouses in the region. Prime Minister of Georgia provided detailed information about it.
In response to the request of Ushguli community, Head of Government of Georgia has already instructed relevant public institutions to address the issue of delayed and fragmented supply of power energy and water in the nearest future.
Improved access to legal aid for over 45,000 people every year; training for 2,400 representatives of the legal profession; increased international cooperation in the field of justice – these are just some of the key results achieved by the Legal Aid Service of Georgia and the Georgian Bar Association with assistance from the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
These and other achievements of the EU4Justice programme between 2016 and 2018 were presented to the public in the country’s capital of Tbilisi on 23 January.
“I am confident that the EU played an instrumental role in developing both the State Legal Aid Service and the Bar Association in Georgia over last 10 years,” said Catalin German, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Georgia. “We have done it through direct transfers of funds into the Georgian state budget, and through different projects.”
The assistance to the Legal Aid Service and Georgian Bar Association is part of a wider EU-funded programme, EU4Justice, which is based on the financing agreement on “Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Georgia”, signed between Georgia and the EU in May 2015.