Within the framework of the visit, the State Minister also plans to meet with representatives of Diaspora Organizations and participate in a presentation about Georgia's reforms and investment capabilities with local businessmen, organized by the Embassy of Georgia to the Hellenic Republic.
President of Azerbaijan: Without any hesitation, we support Turkey and will support it in any circumstancesThursday, 03 September 2020 16:40
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.”
Strasbourg, 15.05.2020 – Greece today took over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from Georgia during a video-conference meeting with representatives of the 47 member states of the Organisation.
The Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, presented the stocktaking of his country's presidency. The Greek Minister with responsibility for Foreign/European Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, outlined the priorities of the Greek Chairmanship for the next six months.
Given the current context, Greece has chosen to focus its chairmanship on the protection of public health and responses to the health crisis, while at the same time ensuring respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Other priorities include the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, along with the protection of vulnerable children and the rights of the younger generations in the fields of digital education, the environment and social issues.
On 4 November, Athens will host the session of the Committee of Ministers bringing together the 47 Foreign Ministers, and the ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights. Germany will then succeed Greece as Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Organisation.
The Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will officially be transferred from Georgia to Greece today. The chairmanship will be passed at the meeting of the CoE committee of ministers in Strasbourg.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting will be opened by Irakli Giviashvili, Permanent Representative of Georgia to the Council of Europe.
Georgia’s Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani will deliver a speech and sum up the achievements and results of Georgia’s Presidency, will review the measures taken in terms of the implementation of the priorities of Georgia’s chairmanship and the cultural program.
The meeting will also be addressed by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the President of the European Court of Human Rights, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
After Davit Zalkaliani’s speech, the Ambassador of Georgia will hand over the symbolic key of the chairmanship to the Permanent Representative of Greece to the Council of Europe.
The Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe was transferred from France to Georgia during a meeting held in Strasbourg, the Organisation’s headquarters, on November 27 of 2019. The priorities of the Georgian Chairmanship included human rights and environmental protection, the participation of civil society in decision-making, child-friendly justice, and education, culture and youth engagement in strengthening democracy.
Within the frames of working visit in the Republic of Serbia, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Georgia to Greece and Serbia Ioseb Nanoshvili held the presentation on business and investment opportunities of Georgia. According to the Foreign Ministry of Georgia, the presentation was held in the Business Club of Belgrade.
As it is reported, the representatives of Serbian companies and business groups attended this meeting, including the officials of Economical institutes of this country. They also saw the commercial film on Georgia by Greek Muzenidis Group. The sides discussed bilateral cooperation issues.
The presidents of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan, Hassan Rouhani, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, respectively, will discuss issues related to the International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as well as trade and economic cooperation and anti-terror fight during a meeting in Baku on August 8, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ibrahim Rahimpur said Wednesday.
The diplomat added that the presidents would also discuss issues of tourism. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed this information. "This meeting is being planned for the first 10 days of August," Peskov told reporters.
In the frames of the visit, Mikheil Janelidze together with State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze met Speaker of the Greek Parliament Nikos Voutsis.
Discussions focused on the importance of the intensification of the inter-parliamentary relations. Nikos Voutsis underlined that creation of the parliamentary friendship groups - including the Greece-Georgia parliamentary friendship group - at the Greek Parliament is underway. It should be noted that on 9 November the Greek Parliament’s Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs approved the issue of ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia by a majority of votes. The Speaker of the Greek Parliament informed the Georgian side that the Parliament will finally ratify the document during the next plenary session.
During the meeting at the Greek Foreign Ministry, the sides underlined the historical and friendly relations between Georgia and Greece and discussed the prospects for enhancing bilateral relations in political, economic and other sectoral directions. The sides agreed that the next round of bilateral political consultations between the Georgian and Greek Foreign Ministries will be held in the first half of 2016. Dimitris Mardas reaffirmed his support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and for the country’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The Greek Deputy Foreign Minister also expressed Greece’s strong support for the ratification of the Georgia-EU Association Agreement and for the Visa Liberalisation process.
At the meeting with the Deputy Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, particular emphasis was put on the need to enhance economic relations and on the opportunities of increasing bilateral trade, attracting investments and intensifying co-operation in the field of tourism, particularly against the background of deep and comprehensive free trade area. Alexis Haritsis welcomed the Georgian side’s offer to share experience in the implementation of reforms and to exchange information regarding the integration with the European Union's internal market.
During the meeting with UNESCO goodwill ambassador, founder of the “Marianna Vardinoyannis Foundation” and President of the “Elpida” Children's Oncology Hospital Marianna Vardinoyannis, Mikheil Janelidze informed her on the "Solidarity Fund of Georgia," founded at the initiative of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and expressed the readiness to facilitate the establishment of co-operation between the two foundations in terms of children’s cancer treatment and financing.
The Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister invited Marianna Vardinoyannis to attend the Tbilisi International Solidarity and Innovative Financing Forum due to be held on 16-18 December 2015.
President of the Hellenic Parliament, Nikolaos Voutsis informed the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration that the Hellenic Parliament plans to discuss the ratification of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the EU. The meeting was held within the framework of the working visit to Athens, Greece on November 10. First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze also participated in the meeting.
The sides deliberated over the process of Georgia's European Integration and the related pressing issues. David Bakradze expressed his gratitude to the Greek side for their steadfast support of Georgia's European aspirations. "We deem the Greek support to Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic Integration essential. Yesterday, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hellenic Parliament discussed and gave positive feedback to the ratification, which was consequently submitted to the plenary session for further deliberations" stated David Bakradze.
The sides also discussed bilateral relations between Georgia and Greece, and perspectives of deepening the established cooperation.
Within the framework of the working visit to Greece, State Minister plans to meet with representatives of the diaspora organizations and present reforms as well as investment opportunities to the local businessmen. The meeting is organized by the Embassy of Georgia to the Hellenic Republic.
State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, David Bakradze left for a working visit to Athens, Greece, where a meeting with President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Nikolaos Voutsis is planned. The meeting will focus Georgia's European Integration process and related pressing issues. The talks will namely touch upon the ratification of the Association and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreements.
During a two-day mission to Greece – the main European Union entry point for nearly 450,000 refugees and migrants so far this year – the United Nations’ most senior refugee official said he had witnessed the improved humanitarian response mounted by Greek local authorities and civil society while lamenting the continued lack of a large-scale and effective European response.
“It is amazing that on a small island, you are managing, whereas in a big Europe, with half a billion people, they are finding it so difficult,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, told Lesbos Mayor Spyros Galinos and other Greek officials.
“We are always saying this crisis is manageable at the European level, but to be manageable, it needs to be much better managed.”
The chief of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was assessing conditions on the Greek island of Lesbos, the main landing spot for tens of thousands of people taking smuggler boats from the nearby Turkish coast. He said European governments had yet to match the “gigantic effort” that the island and its people had made in trying to cope with the huge influx.
Indeed, without a Europe-wide approach and an effective strategy in dealing with the influx, Mr. Guterres warned, criminal networks would continue to thrive. “When States are not able to organize the orderly movement of refugees, smugglers take charge, exploiting people further and adding to their suffering,” he stated.
Describing his island as “frontline,” Mayor Galinos said the main issue “is not the numbers, but the lack of a European policy to respond.” Nevertheless, he said, Greeks would continue to do whatever they could to address the crisis and combat smugglers, “who not only exploit the people, but who put their lives at continuous risk.”
“Above all, we are all human beings,” the Mayor added. “We must all recognize the position of these people because we might all find ourselves in this situation one day.”
UNHCR has deployed an emergency team to Greece and now has some 120 staff in the country to support the Government in its effort to address the continuing crisis. The island of Lesbos, which according to the last census in 2011, had a population of 85,000 people, but is probably now several thousand higher, has received over 220,000 people in nine months.
UNHCR figures put the number of arrivals in September alone at 160,000, while the Greek coast guard records show 110,000 people.
According to the agency, the majority of the refugees and migrants arriving on Lesbos are from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. The rest, about five per cent, are migrants and refugees from 21 countries as varied as India, Bangladesh, Togo, Niger, Columbia, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The Greek Coast Guard on Lesbos reportedly receives between five to 10 distress calls a day, and then sets out to rescue people in overcrowded boats.
Meanwhile, Deputy Harbour Master, Antonio Sofiadellis, a leader in the Greek Coast Guard effort that has saved between 240-400 refugee and migrant lives every day, said that more people are being packed onto the flimsy boats these days – around 60 when 50 used to be the limit.
“The engines are very cheap and the smugglers don't care that they don't know how to operate the boats,” Mr. Sofiadellis explained. “This is something no country in Europe has faced. If we weren't there to rescue them, half or more than half would drown. The boats capsize, some fold, when the floor breaks.”
Mr. Guterres also visited the north of Lesbos, where most refugee boats land. The beaches were strewn with hundreds of bright orange life jackets and deflated rubber boats, soaked shoes and pieces of clothing. Some 1,050 people had arrived overnight and volunteers helped them to an assembly point nearby, where they found food and a warm place to sleep in a large UNHCR shelter.
Some Syrian refugees he met told him they had fled directly from Aleppo, Damascus or Homs. Other Syrians said they could no longer make ends meet in neighbouring countries amid cuts in humanitarian aid and restrictions on work. Most people said they felt now was their chance to find safety in European countries where refugees were welcome.