The 44th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States of held online on 17 December 2021. The meeting was chaired by the Vice-Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the BSEC Chairman-in-Office, David Zalkaliani.
Zalkaliani spoke about the events organized by the country during the Georgian Chairmanship. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also briefed the BSEC member states on Georgia’s strategy to prevent the spread of the virus in Georgia, on the measures taken and the positive results achieved in terms of intensifying economic growth. It was stressed that based on the available data, Georgia forecasts double-digit GDP growth.
The Minister shared his views on the development of the Black Sea region as a bridge connecting Europe and Asia. Zalkaliani also spoke about Georgia’s role of as a transport hub during the Covid-19 pandemic and stressed that the number of cargo shipments during the pandemic increased by 30%, the number of international flights over Georgia – by three times. The Minister also spoke about the developments in the tourism sector and noted that despite the 80 percent fall during the pandemic, tourism returned to the pre-pandemic level thanks to the Georgian government’s active efforts.
The Minister also emphasized the importance of enhancing regional security - an essential precondition for the sustainable and stable economic development of the BSEC countries. At the same time, Zalkaliani stressed the need to resolve conflicts in the region in accordance with the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Minister Zalkaliani thanked the Permanent Secretariat of the Organization for its assistance during the Georgian Chairmanship of the BSEC (1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021) and wished the Republic of Moldova success in its forthcoming chairmanship of the organization.
MFA of Georgia
Georgia’s development cannot be complete or successful without the engagement of our diaspora – D. Zalkaliani
The Minister expressed gratitude towards the representatives of the Georgian diaspora, whose efforts, according to the statement of the Minister, are directed towards ensuring tighter contact with our homeland, retaining their national identity.
The Minister also noted the support of the Georgian PM, Irakli Gharibashvili, in terms of our relations with our diaspora.
Within the framework of the forum two thematic meetings were also held: 1) “Economy and Business – Georgian Diaspora for the Development of our Country”, and 2) “Education and Culture”.
Press-conference titled “Significance of peace and trust in modern world” was held in the MFA of TurkmenistanThursday, 25 March 2021 11:31
On March 24, 2021, a press-conference titled “Significance of peace and trust in modern world” was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in a hybrid format. The event was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s Independence, to the 25th anniversary of the permanent Neutrality of the country as well as to the announcement of the year 2021 as the Year of Peace and Trust.
The press-conference was attended by the editors-in chief of the national printed editions, representatives of the foreign media, accredited in the country and heads and representatives of the national media. Heads and representatives of the authoritative foreign broadcasting organizations, as well as about 80 journalists from the information agencies of 18 countries of the world participated to the press-conference by means of videoconferencing.
The speakers from Turkmenistan and foreign countries set out their vision of the notions peace and trust, which today are very important as never before. They highlighted the role of mass media in promotion of these values on national, regional and international levels.
The participants of the press-conference highlighted timeliness of the proclamation by the UN General Assembly the year of 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust. In this context the participants expressed the success and efficiency of the foreign and domestic policy of Turkmenistan conducted under the wise leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov during independence years.
At the press-conference the speakers picked up Turkmenistan’s success during independent years in political, economic and cultural-humanitarian fields. It was underlined the important position of Turkmenistan in the sphere of promotion of peaceful and trustful relations in the region and beyond.
The participants expressed to the Turkmen side their gratitude fo the organization of this event. Representatives of International media confirmed their interest to work in close contacts with Turkmen colleagues for further strengthening of bonds of friendship and mutual understanding among the countries and peoples.
В МИД Туркменистана состоялась пресс-конференция «Значимость мира и доверия в современном мире»
24 марта 2021 года в Министерстве иностранных дел Туркменистана в гибридном формате состоялась пресс-конференция «Значимость мира и доверия в современном мире». Данное мероприятие, приурочено к 30-летию Независимости Туркменистана, 25-летию постоянного Нейтралитета, а также объявлению 2021 года – Международным годом мира и доверия.
На пресс-конференции руководители и представители национальных и зарубежных средств массовой информации, иностранные журналисты, аккредитованные в Туркменистане. Посредством видеоконференцсвязи в мероприятии участвовали руководители авторитетных иностранных телерадиовещательных организаций, а также около 80-ти корреспондентов информационных агентств из 18-ти стран мира.
Выступившие в ходе встречи делегаты из Туркменистана и зарубежных стран изложили свое видение понятий – мир и доверие, которые сегодня актуальны как никогда раньше. Выделена роль СМИ в продвижении этих ценностей на национальном, региональном и международном уровнях.
Участники пресс конференции особо отметили своевременность провозглашения Генеральной Ассамблеей ООН 2021 года – Международным годом мира и доверия. В данном контексте они выразили успех и эффективность внутренней и внешней политики Туркменистана, проводимой под мудрым руководством Президента Гурбангулы Бердымухамедова.
На мероприятии выделены успехи Туркменистана за годы независимости в политической, экономической и культурно-гуманитарной областях. Особо подчеркнута важная позиция Туркменистана в деле продвижения миролюбивых и доверительных отношений в регионе и за его пределами.
Выражена благодарность туркменской стороне за организацию данного мероприятия. Представители международных СМИ подтвердили заинтересованность в работе с туркменскими коллегами для дальнейшего укрепления уз дружбы и взаимопонимания между странами и народами.
Georgia has launched talks with the European Union for financial assistance for the next seven years. The talks organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia will continue from 9 to 11 February.
The first meeting was held on 9 February between the First Deputy Foreign Minister Vakhtang Makharoblishvili and the EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell.
The consultations will focus on the priorities of the EU financial assistance (during the period from 2021 to 2027), which will help Georgia implement EU-funded projects and programmes in the future.
Thematic sessions will focus on the following areas: development of trade and economy (DCFTA), business promotion, agriculture, industry, services, SME support, consumer protection and women’s involvement in business, communications (transport, energy and digitalization), green economy and road safety, improvement of education quality and access to international education, digital infrastructure and digital economy, rule of law and sustainable institutions , environment and climate, public engagement and democracy.
The EU allocates considerable financial assistance in support of the reforms ongoing in Georgia.
Talks on financial assistance between Georgia and the EU will end tomorrow.
In 2014-2020 financial assistance of the EU for Georgia amounted to €750 million.
The Administration of the MFA Georgia
In connection with the ongoing new type coronavirus pandemic and the comprehensive measures adopted on the part of the international community on counteraction against this global threat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan informs about the following.
The systematic work on preventing the entry of this infection on the territory of the country was implemented by Turkmenistan since the first days of the spread of the COVID-19 in the world.
In this regard, a Governmental Commission was established under the leadership of the President of Turkmenistan that is authorized to resolve organizational, legal, financial, technical and other issues related to the counteraction against the coronavirus. To coordinate the activities of the relevant state agencies, an Operational Center has been created which consists of the representatives of the Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Border Service, State Customs Services, State Migration Service and others.
At the first stage of combatting the coronavirus infection, a set of measures on strengthening borderline, customs and migration regulations, as well as the sanitary-epidemiological, phytosanitary and veterinary supervision was adopted.
The system of regular provision of the population with the necessary, free of charge medications contributing to the strengthening of immune system of a human being was arranged.
The clinical examination programme for the population is being carried out and the necessary measures on enhancing the immune status of the people are implemented.
At the same time, Turkmenistan is developing international cooperation aimed at the consolidation of efforts of the world community on combatting the pandemic threat.
Hereby, it is worthwhile to note the active participation of the President of Turkmenistan in the international Summits organized with the aim of counteracting against the pandemic.
Particularly during the Non-Aligned Movement Summit held in May 2020, the President of Turkmenistan set forward the initiative on promoting the scientific diplomacy by proposing the establishment of International Council of Medical Scientists.
The main content of this initiative lies in the establishment of direct contacts between the practicing doctors, scientists in the field of medical science on the following:
firstly, it is proposed to cooperate actively in the area of determining the nature of appearance of the new type coronavirus,
secondly, it is advisable to intensify the work of the scientific medical community in the field of studying the form of onset of the diseases evolved from the new type infection;
thirdly, the need for joint work is highlighted in terms of the search for forms, methods and means of treatment of the acute infectious diseases and their prevention, including the development of vaccines, other special medical substances and many more.
The information on the set of measures carried out by our country and outlined in the letter of the President of Turkmenistan addressed to the Director-General of the World Health Organization stand as one of the significant examples of Turkmenistan’s input in the international efforts on combatting the spread of COVID-19 infection. This letter was distributed as the official document of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
At the same time, on May 28, 2020, the International Forum dedicated to the issues of sustainable development and initiated by Turkmenistan was held. The resulting document of the Forum was also published as the official document of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
In line with the above said, it is pertinent to underline the call of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the Organization’s member-states made on March 30, 2020 on organizing the comprehensive and systematic work on counteraction against the coronavirus threat.
Consequently, the National Preparedness and Response Plan of Turkmenistan for Acute Infectious Disease was adopted in Turkmenistan on the state level on May 22 of current year.
In addition, the Plan of Operational Socio-economic Activities in Turkmenistan on the counteraction against the coronavirus pandemic was affirmed on July 3 of ongoing year.
Currently, jointly with the United Nations’ agencies, Turkmenistan is starting to develop the third National Plan encompassing the humanitarian constituent of the preventive measures implemented by the country against the COVID-19 infection.
Today, the issues of pandemic are subject to professional researches, scientific studies and developments. The scientists of many countries are involved in this work and based on deep scientific analysis they already today attain significant results, having important practical implementation in the process of counteracting against the pandemic.
One of such occasions became the address of 239 scientists from 32 countries of the world with an open letter to the Director-General of the World Health Organization, published on July 4 of current year, which contains information on the results of scientific researches confirming the chances of the new type coronavirus spreading through tiny aerosol droplets retaining in the air for a long time.
Based on the researches of the medical scientific community of Turkmenistan, the Turkmen side supports the above mentioned scientific results.
In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the multiyear researches of the Turkmen doctors, ecologists, specialists in the field of hydrometeorology and other areas of science prove that the substances posing danger for the human health, including the viruses, can be transmitted through air flow in the sensitive ecological environment of Central Asia.
At the same time, air masses forming in the zone of ecological disaster evolved from the drying of the Aral Sea pose an explicit danger and have a severe negative impact on the nature, climate, and human health of those residing in the Aral Sea area and far beyond it.
The dust and salt storms transmitting severely harmful substances from the ground of the dried Aral Sea extend for thousands of kilometers and pose a real danger for the human health.
The position of Turkmenistan on the Aral problems is well known in the world today. During his speech at the Sustainable Development Summit “Rio+20” on June 22, 2012, the President of Turkmenistan underlined that the problem of the Aral Sea currently “reached far beyond the region and gained a truly global scope.”
That is why the establishment of the UN Special Programme for the Aral Sea basin was proposed.
With the aim of practical implementation of the given proposal by the world community in the person of the UN and upon the initiative of Turkmenistan, two Resolutions of the UN General Assembly on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea” were adopted which created a firm basis for multilateral collaboration on the resolution of the Aral problems in the UN platform.
Expanding multilateral cooperation on the Aral course, the draft concept of the UN Special Programme for the Aral Sea was presented at the sixth Session of the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held in August 2019. Upon the results of consideration of the given document, the draft ESCAP resolution on the issues of further work on the mentioned Special Programme was prepared and is planned for consideration in the framework of the successive session of the Commission in May 2021.
Great attention to the resolution of the Aral Sea problems is also paid in the Regional Environmental Program for Sustainable Development in Central Asia developed in the framework of the chairmanship of Turkmenistan in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea during the period of 2017-2019 and approved by the resolution of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of the IFAS in October of 2019 in the city of Nukus of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Based on the above said, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan is underlining the preparedness of the Turkmen side to continuation of wide multifaceted cooperation on the regional and international level on the counteraction against the pandemic, including the issues of detailed studying the impacts of exogenous factors on the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.
With these aims, in the near future Turkmenistan is going to implement a set of further practical measures in the framework of implementation of the agreements attained with the international partners and aimed at strengthening of solidarity on the counteraction against the new type of infection.
Press service of the
MFA of Turkmenistan
On June 30, 2020, the successive meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Central Asian countries and USA in the “C5+1” format was held through videoconferencing.
The Secretary of State of the United States of America and the Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan took part in the session.
The participants considered the collaboration in political-diplomatic field, and discussed the key aspects of trade-economic cooperation. One of the main topics of discussion at this meeting was the settlement of the situation in Afghanistan and development of joint mechanisms on expanding the cooperation in various areas.
During his speech at the ministerial meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs R.Meredov expressed the standpoint of Turkmenistan concerning the Afghan issues. He underlined that the Turkmen side supports the cooperation in multilateral formats aimed at strengthening of political and socio-economic life in the neighboring country by peaceful means and is ready to use the necessary political-diplomatic potential of the state in this regard. Herein, the importance of applying the UN platform was emphasized.
During the meeting, the opportunities of expanding mutual investments, infrastructural, transport-communication, social and energy projects of regional scale were discussed. The parties exchanged views on strengthening collaboration in the area of healthcare, energy, transport, nature protection.
Comment by the MFA of Georgia in response to the comment of the Information and Press Department of the MFA of the RFFriday, 29 May 2020 15:52
On May, 26th, while Georgia was receiving congratulations from the neighboring and partner countries honoring its Independence Day, the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation disseminated another falsehood on the functioning of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Georgia.
The above-mentioned disinformation is of particular concern in the context when activity of the Center is widely recognized as one of the vital factors in successful struggle of the Government of Georgia against the coronavirus pandemic and functioning of the Center is highly appreciated by the Georgian society along with international community.
Georgia’s relevant agencies have repeatedly commented on the details of the status and functioning of the Center, however Russia’s constant provocations have forced us to address the issue again since we see the urgent need to attract attention of the international community to the Russia’s fabrications and rude attempts to diminish the role of successful institution contributing to the security of Georgia and throughout the entire region.
The Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center functions as an integral laboratory unit of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. The facility was launched in 2013 and represents the highest level institution of the Laboratory Network of Disease Epidemiological Surveillance which, itself, is a referral center of the Georgian Public Health System.
Construction of the facility started in 2004 based on a framework Agreement signed by the US and the Georgian Governments in 1997 as well as Agreement of 2002 between the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Defense of Georgia “On Cooperation in the field of prevention of the introduction of pathogenesis and experience related to biological weapons development.”
The Lugar Center, along with its equipment were fully transmitted to the ownership of the Government of Georgia and since 2018 the Lugar Center along with the laboratory network have been fully financed by the Government of Georgia. Structurally, the Lugar Center is a subdivision of the Center for Disease Control and a part of the Georgian Healthcare System.
The Lugar Center unites the 2nd and the 3rd level biosecurity laboratories equipped by the modern equipment with the aim to timely detect and identify the pathogens that cause dangerous diseases in humans and animals based on the principle of “United health”.
Three virology (poliomyelitis, influenza and measles) laboratories accredited by the World Health Organization (WHO) operate in the Center. Besides, under the international quality control, the following laboratories operate at the facility: the diagnosis of rotavirus, invasive meningitis, malaria, antibiotic resistance, diphtheria and salmonellosis. The Center has an international ISO accreditation for the clinical laboratory research.
Laboratory capabilities of the Lugar Center are also used by the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture (LMA) and the Eliava Research Institute of Bacteriophage. In addition, the Center’s capabilities are widely used by masters and doctoral students from relevant universities of various countries, including neighboring ones, to conduct scientific research.
Any research or activity at the facilities of the Center are carried out by the relevant experts exceptionally under the coordination and management of the competent Georgian agencies. The American partners have no role in setting the tasks for the Center, moreover they do not possess the possibility to conduct an independent research.
Georgia is fully committed to its international obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, including the requirements and provisions of the Convention on the Management of Biological Laboratories. Within the 7th Review Conference, the Member States have developed a mechanism for transparency and confidence-building – so called peer exercise, which appears to be the only instrument for transparency.
Within such mechanism and in order to ensure the transparency of the Richard Lugar Centre, Georgia hosted an international peer exercise at the facilities of the Centre on November 14-15, 2018. The above-mentioned event was organized jointly by the Georgian and German sides and Security and Bio experts from up to 20 countries were able to participate in this peer exercise. It is worth to mention that the invitation to participate has been also extended to the Russian experts, however a strict refusal of their participation has been received. This very fact clearly proves the ostentatious interest of the RF in operations at the laboratory.
On December 4-7, 2018, a meeting of the Member States of the Biological Weapons Convention took place at the UN Geneva office, where the report on the functioning of the Lugar Centre drafted by international experts gained a full approval and support.
Despite the above-mentioned, the Russian Foreign Ministry challenges the findings of the leading experts after their visit at the facility. Furthermore, based on the fake disinformation of suspicious “experts”, false allegations are widely spread specially in the Russian media sources thus clearly underlying incompetence and aggressive nature of their arguments.
As for the provision of the comment by the Information Department of the Russian MFA regarding the possible visit of the Russian experts to the Lugar Centre, it is noteworthy to mention that Georgia, as a responsible Member State of the Convention on Prohibition of Biological Weapons, is and always has been ready, to host competent Russian experts, who holds the relevant level security permission to access the facilities of the laboratory. However, such visits might be conducted within the framework of the Convention and in full compliance with the existing mechanism. There was such possibility in 2018, although Georgia is open to discuss the modalities of the peer exercise/visit with Member-States upon new initiative. At the same time, Georgia does not see the possibility for one-side unilateral visit taking into account Russia's rough and aggressive disinformation campaign with the only possible aim to diminish the functioning and researches at the facilities of the Lugar Centre.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the international community, primarily on the Member States of the Biological Weapons Convention, to assess the aggressive statements of the Russian Governmental Agencies toward Georgia; to condemn clear disinformation and to oppose the attempts to undermine the successful functioning of the institution exponential for the whole region. Despite the fact that Georgia does not have any bilateral legal commitment to the RF on the transparency of the Centre, the Georgian side expresses its readiness to host next peer exercise within the frame of the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons with participation of multinational team, including relevant Russian experts.
The MFA of Georgia reaffirms its support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of AzerbaijanWednesday, 01 April 2020 13:08
Today, on December 16, 2019, the signing ceremony of the joint programwith the UN under the title: "Improving the social protection system by introducing inclusive quality social services at the local level" took place.
From the Turkmen side, the document was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov.
On behalf of the UN, the document was signed by the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Elena Panova.
This project provides for active work to further improve the system of social services and close cooperation in this area with the structures of the United Nations Organization.
The project is implemented as part of the joint work of the Government of Turkmenistan with the United Nations, aimed at implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level.
As is known, Turkmenistan is one of the first countries in the world that adopted at the government level the global Sustainable Development Goals. Also in Turkmenistan, the Sustainable Development Goals are fully adapted to national policies and at present, most of the SDGs are reflected in ongoing national and sectoral programs of the country.
The signed joint program will create the legal basis for strengthening and expanding the joint interaction of state bodies and public organizations of Turkmenistan with the relevant agencies of the United Nations system.