US Congress initiates resolution for 100th anniversary of the 1st Republic of Georgia

Published in World
Tuesday, 29 May 2018 11:36

The resolution, which was submitted to the Senate on May 24, reiterates the US support to Georgia and condemns the occupation of historic Georgian lands by Russia.

The authors of the resolution are Senators David Perdue, Ben Cardin and Johnny Isakson.

The resolution supports the partnership between Georgia and the US for defence and security and initiates even higher level of cooperation in the fields. The resolution also encourages more intensive trade and commercial ties between the two countries, based on mutual interests.

The resolution reaffirms US strong support to Georgia’s NATO membership and praises Georgia’s role for international peace and security". 

The  resolution condemns the occupation of Georgian territories by Russia and calls upon the country to withdraw its forces from the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

The resolution speaks about the severe violation of human rights in and near the occupied territories of Georgia.

Belt & Road Info: Georgia holds Belt & Road Forum to explore opportunities

Published in Economics
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 11:28

TBILISI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Tbilisi Belt & Road Forum 2017 kicked off here Tuesday, with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stressing the forum aims to explore opportunities stemming from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

"The revival of the Great Silk Road, encapsulated in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the President of the People's Republic of China, rests upon five fundamental principles: peace, prosperity, openness, innovation, and exchange of civilizations," Kvirikashvili said in a welcome speech delivered at the two-day event.

He highlighted Georgia's strategic location on the crossroads of the East and the West and the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative.

He noted that Georgia will spare no effort to give, in cooperation with its partners, fresh impetus to the diversification of transport routes along the Silk Road and raise the effectiveness of these routes, while stepping up the implementation of related projects to boost economic and civilization ties between Europe and Asia.

Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister Qian Keming said in his keynote speech at the forum that the Belt and Road Initiative had moved to a new phase and opened new perspectives for the future of the world.

A series of agreements were signed on the sideline of the forum attended by around 2,000 participants from all over the world, including a memorandum of understanding on developing economic zones and entrepreneurial capacity between China and Georgia.

According to the Georgian government, Tbilisi Belt & Road Forum aims to establish a platform for high-level meetings where regional partners get together to explore opportunities, align visions and enhance bilateral partnerships in four main areas of cooperation: transport, energy, trade and business-to-business contacts.

Source: Xinhua

Euro Parliament members agree on deeper EU ties with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova

Published in World
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 16:39

The European Parliament proposes new ways to intensify EU relations with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November, the official website of the European Parliament reports. 

Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are working hard to forge closer links with the EU, in spite of strong resistance from Russia. They already benefit from visa-free travel to the EU as well as increased commercial opportunities thanks to free-trade agreements.

A new Parliament report is now calling to deepen this collaboration further and find new ways to support the countries on the EU’s eastern borders. The own-initiative report has already been adopted by the foreign affairs committee and will be voted on by all MEPs during the November plenary session in Strasbourg. The main focus is on Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, three countries which have recently achieved major progress in the cooperation with the EU.

Topping the list of recommendations is the establishment of a trust fund for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The trust fund is a development tool for quick and flexible EU response to crisis and post-crisis situations. It would pool resources from public and private donors for investment in projects aiming to improve socioeconomic structures.

The committee also recommends increased support for economic reforms and upgrading the current partnership as a way of rewarding progress on EU-related reforms by partner countries. This upgrade could provide access to the EU's customs or energy union, for example.

Lithuanian EPP member Laima Andrikienė, one of the authors of the Parliament report, said: “The creation of an Eastern Partnership Plus model for associated countries with the possibility of a future membership in the customs, energy and digital union is crucial."

These measures add to the structures and projects for cooperation and development in the region already in place by the EU. The proposal emphasises the need to maintain pressure on Russia to resolve the territorial conflicts involving these countries. This is particularly relevant at the moment as the EU sanction towards Russia will reevaluated in January 2018.

The Eastern Partnership is a framework for collaboration between the EU and eastern neighbours Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus. Since the launch in 2009, the political context has changed dramatically, according to Andrikienė.

“The changes are due to the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine in 2014, the annexation of Crimea and continuing occupation of Eastern Ukraine by Russian proxies, as well as Kremlin-steered frozen conflicts which remain unresolved in Moldova and Georgia," the MEP said.

She added that despite “Russian meddling” Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, three of the partner countries, now have association agreements with the EU and free trade agreements through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

German S&D member Knut Fleckenstein, one of the other authors of the report, said the partnership was about much more than just signing agreements: “The objective is to build trust and promote cooperation between all partners in order to achieve concrete benefits for the people, such as respect for fundamental freedoms, better living standards and prospects for the future, facilitation of people-to-people contacts.”

To boost the progress of these countries, the proposal by the foreign affairs committee will be put forward to the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Services for consideration at the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit on 24 November.

“We have to ensure that the outcomes of the summit are concrete and dedicated to the long-term investments and well-being of people in the countries concerned. EU support for economic reforms are of very high importance to the citizens," said Andrikienė.

Her colleague Fleckenstein added: “A successful Eastern Partnership must reduce socio-economic disparities and corruption, better connect the participating countries in the areas of transport, infrastructure and energy, allow for visa-free travel for short-term stays and increase opportunities for educational exchanges and people-to-people contacts,’’ – the European Parliament says. 

The Parliament of Georgia ratified the Free Trade Agreement between Georgia and China

Published in Economics
Monday, 06 November 2017 15:59

The hereby Agreement will allow Georgian entrepreneurs introducing own goods and services to the largest world market without bureaucratic impediments.

Besides, the agreement will facilitate to increase of trade turnover between the signatory countries. The document provides active cooperation in various directions and defines free trade conditions.

The Agreement facilitates to economic development of the country and better employment. Besides, the document will encourage entry of potential foreign investors to Georgia.

The negotiations on the agreement started on November 10, 2015 in China within the World Economic Forum after the meeting of the Prime Ministers of Georgia and China. Georgia is the first country in the region with free trade agreement with China.

The Friendly Match in the frames of the 25th anniversary of Georgian-Canadian friendship and diplomatic relations

Published in Sport
Monday, 30 October 2017 17:06

On October 28, 2017, The Georgian National Baseball Team held a friendly match with Georgian Baseball youth team. This friendly match was organized by The Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association and fully devoted to the celebration of 25th years of Georgian-Canadian Friendship. Before the match, Director of the Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association Mr. Ilia Zukakishvili addressed the guests to the stadium. He said aim of organizing this match was to bring Georgian and Canadian communities closer.  

Today our friendly game again highlights the strong relationship and partnership between Georgia and the Canada. As I am Director of the Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association, I will do my best to deepen the friendship between Georgian and Canadian people. I am always ready to cooperate with our strategic partners to achieve the best results for our country. I believe that the Canadian will always be loyal to Georgia and I believe the main reason for this is that Georgia is loyal to friends and to friendship. Long live to Georgian and Canadian people and we cheers for the friendship between Georgian and Canadian people. God bless our friendship! Georgian audience and Canadian guest enjoyed the friendly match and Georgian snacks.

The official supporters and Sponsor of the event were: Georgian Baseball and Sophthabol National Federation, Aviation Company “Georgian Airways”, Company “TELAVI WINE CELLAR“ News Agency “NEWSDAY.GE”, “FRONTNEWS”, “GEOMEDIATV.GE”and  English  Newspaper  “The Messenger ".

In honor of  25th anniversary of Georgian-Canadian friendship and diplomatic relations, the Georgian and Canadian Friendship Association will organize various activities throughout  Georgia by the end of  2017.

Congress Electoral Assessment Mission to Georgia

Published in Society
Friday, 20 October 2017 19:42

Strasbourg, 20 October 2017 – A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is carrying out an Electoral Assessment Mission to Georgia from 20 to 22 October 2017, in order to monitor the local elections scheduled for 21 October.

The delegation, composed of the Thematic Spokespersons on election observation, Stewart DICKSON (United-Kingdom, ILDG) and Jos WIENEN (Netherlands, EPP/CCE), as well as Congress’ Vice-President Barbara TOCE (Italy, SOC), is joining efforts with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Further to the Election Day, Stewart Dickson will present, together with Corien Jonker, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR long-term election observation mission, the preliminary post-election statement at a joint Press Conference scheduled  for 22 October 2017, 3 pm  (venue: Biltmore Hotel, 29 Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi).

The press conference will be live streamed on the OSCE/ODIHR website at:http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/georgia/339371

 

No threat in terms of recognition of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity from Italy – Davit Zalkaliani

Published in Politics
Thursday, 19 October 2017 14:15

As First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani has declared, there is no threat in terms of recognition of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Italy. 

As Zalkaliani has declared, the ‘working visit’ to Italy by so-called ‘South Ossetian Foreign Minister’ Dimitri Medoev is only an individual initiative. 

‘We have seen similar initiatives earlier. It should be noted that Georgia enjoys Italy’s official support in terms of its territorial integrity and sovereignty,’ Zalkaliani has remarked. 

‘The policy of non-recognition of Georgia’s breakaway region is irreversible’ he has added. 

‘Private persons invite them on behalf of different private organizations and we react on such events without delay. The Italian official government gives us a permanent guarantee that they will never officially respond to the facts and offer no prospect to establish any official contacts with the breakaway regime representatives,’ Zalkaliani has remarked. 

South Ossetia intends to expand international contacts, - Dmitry Medoev, de facto South Ossetian Foreign Minister told RIA Novosti news agency during his working visit to Italy. 

Literature across borders: translating culture to build connections between Georgia and Europe

Published in World
Saturday, 29 July 2017 17:04

By Tamar Khurtsia

Laurence Plazenet, Carl Frode Tiller, Isabelle Wery, Katri Lipson, Daniel Pennac … these are just a handful of the 20 European authors, whose works will be translated into Georgian with the support of the European Union's Creative Europe programme and its support to literary translation, allowing Georgian readers to get acquainted with important works of European literature.  

Leila Kirtadze is Head of Monitoring of Copyright and Translation at Elfi, a Georgian publishing house: she says European literature is modestly represented on the Georgian book market, compared to English-language works. Elfi is one of the publishing houses that won support from Creative Europe in 2016 for literary translations into Georgian, allowing it to translate the works of 10 European authors.   

Elfi and another Georgian publisher Agora received funding from Creative Europe in 2016 to translate, publish, and promote 20 books in two years. Creative Europe does not allocate 100% funding, so publishers also need to find some of the money themselves.

This opportunity enables the translation of literary works from many European languages into Georgian. The fund aims to support cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, promote the transnational circulation of high quality literary works, and improve access to these literary works so that they can reach new audiences.  

 

Elfi has called its project the "First time in Georgia: 10 EU Literature Prize winners". Within this project, it is translating such novels as 'Encirclement/Innsirkling' by Norwegian writer Carl Frode Tiller, 'God Is My Witness' by the Greek author Makis Tsitas, and 'Ice Cream Man' by Finnish writer Katri Lipson.

“In the last 20 years, Norwegian literature has never been published, and only a few books are translated from Greek and Italian. In order to fill the vacuum, Elfi selected the kind of European authors which Georgian society doesn’t know and which will give our readers some ideas about modern European literature and writers,” says Leila Kirtadze.

Elfi has been on the market for 20 years. Most of the books it publishes are for children. But the publishing house is convinced that translated literature will be greatly appreciated by Georgian readers.

While selecting authors and works, publishers consider the relevance to the time and the readers' taste. That’s why Finish author Katri Lipson is one of the 10 authors who will also be translated into Georgian. Dimitri Gogolashvili is the translator working on Katri Lipson’s book Ice Cream Man.  

Generally, I select the book that I would like to translate but in this case they offered me this author and I got interested. The book is about the most recent history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, where a director sets out to mimic real life by creating a film without a script, where the actors learn the story and their part in it as they go. The picture of the communist era is well illustrated and in this regard it should be close and understandable to Georgian readers."

Mzia Gomelauri is translating The Ski Bum, a novel by the Lithuanian-French author Romain Gary, for publishing house Agora, which, among other things, focuses on the translation of French literature.  

"The translation of Romain Gary is not new to me. I have already translated his Promise of Dawn, which is a very important work. If it were not for Agora, he would be completely unknown to Georgians. Gary is a very European author. He is also cosmopolitan, because he has a lot of different roots," says Mzia Gomelauri.

She was very happy to be offered to translate this work. "He is a great writer, and writes in a various ways, so you think it's a different person. It’s very interesting to translate his works, perhaps because two cultures cross here. The main character is the American, not French. He expresses himself in a different ways. This all makes it difficult to translate," says Gomelauri.

The director of Agora, Marina Balavadze, puts quality above all else. "The author should not be lost in the translation and we have the right translators, so we can give a guarantee. We have an opportunity to introduce some new translations. So we thought, why not and decided to expand it now and translate books not only from French but also from other languages,” said Balavadze.

Agora's project was named the "European Literature Mosaic" and covered 10 European writers, including Irish author Donald Ryan's novel The Spinning Heart and Italian author Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees.

"There is a great demand for books in Georgia. But as a publisher we wouldn't be able to do anything if it wasn't for programmes like 'Support to literary translation'. Our publishing house could offer two or three new translations for our readers, but now with the project we can offer 10 new authors. All this helps to increase the cultural level in the country. I’m very glad that Georgia is doing its best to be involved in this programme,” said Balavadze.  

A publisher can apply for support for a project involving the translation, production and promotion of 10 works of fiction. Eligible costs include the translation, production and promotion of European literature. A publisher can apply for a grant of up to €100,000 (maximum 50% of the eligible costs), and the project must be delivered over a maximum of 2 years. 

According to Kati Shengelia, the Head of the Programme Creative Georgia, five applicants applied for funding last year. She hopes the number of applicants and winners will increase in the future.

"This programme is good, because it means a lot of books will be published which wouldn't have been translated otherwise. Also, it is important to understand that you offer work to the translators. The translator's profession is more or less forgotten, in fact the purpose of this financing is also to raise a translator's profile and to make people realise that this is a real profession,” said Shengelia.

While the programme means European authors are translated into Georgian, it also means the works of Georgian authors have a chance to be translated into European languages. And Shengelia feels that for Georgia, joining Creative Europe meant that "Georgian culture was entering the European family”.

 "The programme emphasises European identity. By joining this programme, Georgia has taken a very important step. Georgia has a great creative potential and this potential should be developed," says Shengelia.

Kati Shengelia says there is a lot of enthusiasm among Georgian publishers who are preparing to apply for more funding to translate European authors into Georgian. In Georgia, there is a hope that there will be more projects like this in the future, so that EU-Georgian cultural connections can become even stronger. The support of the European Union in strengthening these links is very much appreciated.

This article was produced in the framework of the EU Neighbours east project. The views expressed are solely those of the author of the article.

Danish Neigbourhood Programme 2017-21 prioritises Georgia

Published in World
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:51
Georgia and Ukraine have been selected as "priority countries” to receive Danish support for the next four years.

The Danish Foreign Ministry presented the Danish Neigbourhood Programme 2017-21 in Copenhagen on 12 June. The meeting was attended by Georgia’s Ambassador to Denmark Gigi Gigiadze.

The DANEP programme will focus on two directions in the priority countries: 1) Democracy and human rights 2) Sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The meeting was opened by Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen. Speaking about Georgia he stressed the recent "exemplary reforms” in the country.


Danish Neigbourhood Programme 2017-21 will be approved in autumn of 2017.

PACE CO-RAPPORTEURS URGE GEORGIAN AUTHORITIES TO FULLY INVESTIGATE ABDUCTION OF AFQAN MUXTARLI

Published in World
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 17:35

Strasbourg, 06.06.2017 - The co-rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) for Georgia, Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC)  and Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE) expressed their concerns regarding

the alleged abduction and unlawful transfer to Azerbaijan of Azerbaijani  journalist Afqan Muxtarli. They urged the Georgian authorities to fully investigate all allegations made in relation to this case and to be kept

abreast of the outcome of these investigations, which they will follow closely.

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