On 2 May, the Deputy Foreign Minister, Teimuraz Janjalia met with members of the Finnish parliamentary delegation headed by Matthias Martinen, Chairman of the Friendship Group with the Parliament of Georgia.
Highlighting the close, friendly Georgian-Finnish relations based on the common fight for independence and freedom of choice, as well as on the shared European values, the sides welcomed the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. They also noted with satisfaction the close inter-parliamentary ties and fruitful cooperation in the fight against hybrid threats.
The Deputy Minister spoke about the importance of maintaining political dialogue at a regular level. In this context, he emphasized the need to carry out planned high-level visits, to ensure a closer dialogue with European regional formats, including with the Nordic-Baltic Eight.
Reviewing the progress made by Georgia on the path of irreversible integration with the European Union, Teimuraz Janjalia noted Georgia's interest in ensuring deeper economic integration and sectoral cooperation with the European Union, including in the field of renewable energy and the environment.
The Deputy Foreign Minister briefed the Finnish side on Georgia's support for Ukraine, both in the humanitarian field and within international organizations by aligning with a number of resolutions or statements in support of Ukraine. He reaffirmed that Georgia will continue its unwavering support for the brotherly Ukrainian nation. Against the background of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Teimuraz Janjalia stressed the security challenges facing the region and the creeping occupation and the dire humanitarian situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. He noted the need for the international community’s greater involvement in ensuring lasting peace and stability in the region.
The Finnish MPs, in turn, focused on the ongoing debate on security policy in Finland, including in terms of the country’s possible membership in NATO. They emphasized the importance of ensuring close political dialogue in the light of changes affecting the European security architecture. They noted the importance of European countries’ unanimous position in the face of the Russia-Ukraine war and their strong support for Ukraine.
The Finnish side reaffirmed Finland's unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for the country's EU integration and the European Reform Agenda.
MFA of Georgia
Georgian parliamentary political parties today will sign a joint statement in support of Georgia’s NATO integration ahead of the June 14 Brussels NATO Summit.
“We, the undersigned parliamentary political parties of Georgia: Guided by the national interests of Georgia and the Constitution of Georgia; Reaffirming the Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia on the Foreign Policy of Georgia adopted on December 29, 2020; Adhering to the principles of the rules-based international order; Adhering fully to the values on which the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is founded; Taking into account that the sustained commitment of NATO Member States to collective defense has ensured ‘Europe whole, free, and at peace’. Noting that the NATO Open Door policy has been a major contributing factor to the democratic transformation of Central and Eastern Europe; Taking into account the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit decision that Georgia will become a member of NATO; Noting that Georgia has all practical tools for NATO membership, continues to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities and progresses in achieving full interoperability with NATO; Taking into consideration that Georgia has demonstrated its commitment to being an important contributor to Euro-Atlantic security through participating in NATO peacekeeping missions and operations. Stand united in supporting Georgia’s NATO membership and declare the following:
- We unanimously reaffirm that NATO membership remains a vital national security interest of Georgia, enjoying broad consensual political and societal support.
- We express appreciation to the Alliance and its Member States for the essential political and practical support, which allows Georgia to boost its resilience and interoperability with the Alliance as well as to prepare Georgia for the membership in NATO.
- We call on NATO and its Member States to continue their close partnership with Georgia as it prepares to implement ambitious reforms jointly agreed by parliamentary political parties to complete democratic consolidation, as well as to provide more vigorous assistance and experience sharing in the fight against emerging and hybrid threats.
- We underline the importance of deepening cooperation on Black Sea security. The wider Black Sea security environment has significantly deteriorated in recent years, given that Russian activities threaten regional security and democracies in this region. Taking this into account, NATO’s engagement in the Black Sea as an essential deterring and stabilising factor, has acquired more significance than ever.
- We welcome the ambitious report NATO 2030: United for a New Era and express hope that the new Strategic Concept of the Alliance will properly reflect the report’s recommendations on the Open Door Policy as well as NATO’s vision regarding the Black Sea and its role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security.
- We express our joint commitment to stronger NATO acting in defense of peace, democracy and prosperity of freedom-loving nations, including Georgia.
- We underscore the importance of moving forward with the political decision bringing Georgia closer to membership in the Alliance. Extending NATO membership to Georgia and other aspiring countries in Eastern Europe will reinforce security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area, deter potential aggressors and bring us closer to a ‘Europe that is whole, free, and at peace’.
- We believe that the upcoming NATO Brussels Summit provides an opportunity to register progress on Georgia’s NATO membership path. Since Georgia is not represented at the summit, we ask our NATO partners to take this joint statement of the parliamentary political parties as an explicit multi-party support towards Georgia’s NATO membership.
- We stand ready to use all available platforms, including international inter-parliamentary assemblies, to support deeper integration and eventual NATO membership of Georgia,” reads the statement.
The NATO 2030 initiative will be the main issue for discussion at the upcoming Summit of NATO leaders on June 14 in Brussels.
“The goal of our NATO 2030 initiative is to prepare our Alliance for the future. Over the past months, Allies have been consulting closely and constructively; we still have some work to do, but we all agree that we must take ambitious and forward-looking decisions to show transatlantic unity not just in words, but in deeds,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a virtual press conference on June 1.
The Speaker, H.E. Archil Talakvadze held the introductory meeting with the newly appointed Ambassador of China to discuss the bilateral relations and the cooperation agenda.
As noted, political, trade-economic, cultural and people-to-people relations are the directions Georgia and China are to adhere to in further cooperation.
The parties dwelt on the Silk Road Project “One Belt One Road”, which is of the strategic importance for Georgia and Georgia, in terms of security, economic integration and infrastructural update is committed for this mission.
The parties touched upon transit and investment capacities of Georgia and stressed importance of inter-Parliamentary ties.
The Ambassador reaffirmed support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and underlined that China strongly respects the choice Georgian people has opted for development. In his turn, the Speaker expressed intact support of Georgia to “One-China” policy.
The Speaker wished good luck to the Ambassador and expressed commitment for close cooperation.
Georgian parliamentary speaker Irakli Kobakhidze resigned from his post on June 21 following overnight clashes between police and demonstrators outside of the parliament in Tbilisi.
A statement on Kobakhidze's resignation was read out to journalists in Tbilisi on June 21 by Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, the secretary-general of the ruling Georgian Dream party, after a meeting of the party leadership.
Although Kobakhidze was standing in the briefing room while the statement was being read out to journalists, he left the room without making any comment.
Georgian opposition leaders earlier on June 21 vowed to return to the streets of Tbilisi on the evening of June 21 to call for the resignations of I. Kobakhidze and Georgia's interior minister.
Demonstrators also are demanding early parliamentary elections in response to the political crisis that has erupted following the overnight violence.
Grigol Vashadze, chairman of the United National Movement party, called for demonstrators to gather for a rally beginning at 7 p.m. local time near the parliament building where the clashes occurred overnight.
Irakli Kobakhidze was elected as the Speaker of the Parliament on November 18, 2016.
MP Archil Talakvadze is expected to replace I. Kobakhidze.
The Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the so-called parliamentary elections in occupied Tskhinvali region/South OssetiaTuesday, 11 June 2019 10:17
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia refers to the ongoing so-called parliamentary elections in occupied Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, which blatantly violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. Any so-called elections held in the occupied territories are illegal and cannot have any legal effect, as they are in contradiction with the fundamental norms and principles of international law.
The above so-called elections represent yet another futile attempt by Russia and its occupation regime in Tskhinvali to legitimize the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, the illegal occupation and forceful change of sovereign borders of Georgia. The so-called parliamentary elections are taking place in the context, when internally displaced persons and refuges, forcibly expelled from the occupied territories, continue to be deprived of the possibility to return to their homes, and while the people on the ground are forced to live under violations of basic human rights and freedoms. At the same time, the Russian Federation continues its military build-up, control and de-facto annexation of the occupied territories, in full disregard of the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give a due assessment to the ongoing so-called parliamentary elections in the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, and calls upon the Russian Federation to fulfill undertaken international obligations and withdraw its military forces from Georgia’s territory.
Adopting its final agenda at the opening of the 2019 Spring Session, the Assembly decided to hold an urgent debate on the theme “Role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly: main challenges for the future”. The Assembly holds its session in PACE from 8 to 12 April 2019, with addresses by the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia.
Joint debates will be held 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 its Sustainable Development Goals.
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 Georgia-Korea Friendship Group headed by Shota Khabareli is to serve the working visit to Seoul on September 10 to meet with the Korean legislative and executive authorities within the 3-day visit.
The meetings will be held with the Vice Speaker of Korean National Assembly, Head of Korea-Georgia Friendship Group, as well as the Chair of the Foreign Relations and Union Affairs Committee, First Deputy Chair of the Infrastructure and Transport Committee and the Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs.
Georgian MPs will visit the joint security area in the demilitarized zone – Truce Village Panmunjom and the Exhibition Technological Center of Samsung Company.
The Delegation is composed of Friendship Group members: Vice Speaker, Zviad Dzidziguri and MP, Endzela Machavariani.
Michele Nicoletti (Italy, SOC) was today elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Taking over from Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus, EPP/CD), he is the 31st President of the Assembly since 1949 and the second Italian to hold this office.
There was only one candidate. Under the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, the President serves for a one-year term of office, which may be renewed once.
In his inaugural address, the newly-elected President called for increased unity of the Council of Europe “as the only European institution that brings together 47 countries around the values of human rights, democracy, the rule of law and acceptance of its European Court”.
“At a time of great and dramatic challenges – from terrorism to migration, from poverty old and new to mistrust in representative institutions, from the re-emergence of racism and xenophobia to the desperate solitude of so many people – we must offer a response to nationalist and chauvinistic temptations to close ranks, to centrifugal pressures and to conflicts by reasserting the need for peace and justice on our continent,” he said.
” As a pan-European political forum and a statutory body of our Organisation, the Assembly should fully play its role in addressing these challenges. This requires the active involvement of all members and delegations from all 47 member States. In this context, I regret that the Russian Parliament has not put forward a delegation for the 2018 Ordinary Session. Nevertheless, dialogue with Russian parliamentarians – as well as with all other delegations – continues, with due respect to our rules and obligations.”
“This reflection on our identity, which the Assembly will decide how to develop, appears to me to represent an extraordinary opportunity for our institution to reassert forcefully its own role as the guardian of European unity. I strongly believe that all member States of the Council of Europe must participate in this process,” the newly-elected PACE President underlined.
“In performing this task, we must not cease to openly denounce any violation of human rights committed in any part of our continent and by any authority. There cannot and must not be any free zones. However, this defence of human rights will be even stronger if we are able to combine it with an ever increasing unity between our peoples. We must tirelessly seek to emphasise what unites us,” he said.
EU and Eastern Partner country representatives meet for international parliamentary conference in Tbilisi
Representatives of the European Parliament and parliaments of 17 EU Member States, Candidate States and Eastern Partner countries are meeting in the Georgian capital Tbilisi for an international parliamentary conference on 4-5 December. They will discuss EU integration as a framework for promoting internal reforms, and talk about the benefits and challenges associated with the EU-inspired transformation.
The event will focus on the political and economic reforms inspired by the Association Agreements in different countries, EU partnership instruments and cooperation frameworks, legislative challenges on the way to implementing the EU-driven reforms, and the economic impacts of European integration on business and trade.
The conference will also pay attention to citizen expectations before and after EU integration, ways of countering anti-European propaganda, and to the future of the Union, considering the 60th anniversary of the European cooperation.
The international parliamentary conference “EU and Partners – Embracing Diversity for Stronger Unity” has been organised by the Parliament of Georgia on the initiative of the European Integration Committee of the Parliament, with support from the European Union and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller outlined the decisions taken by Allied leaders last week in a keynote speech to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Tbilisi on Monday (29 May 2017). She highlighted that the Alliance is stepping up in the fight against terrorism and making progress on fairer burden-sharing across NATO.
The Deputy Secretary General welcomed that NATO is now a full member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS – a strong symbol of the Alliance’s commitment to the fight against terrorism. NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft will also support the Coalition with airspace management, and a new terrorism intelligence cell at NATO headquarters will improve the sharing of information among Allies. Ms. Gottemoeller stressed that NATO leaders also agreed to do more to ensure fairer burden sharing across the Alliance, with national plans setting out how Allies intend to meet their defence commitments. She highlighted that Montenegro will soon become the 29th member of the Alliance – a clear sign that the door to NATO membership remains open.
The Deputy Secretary General also thanked Georgia for its contributions to NATO, including in Afghanistan. She noted that NATO continues to support Georgia, helping to boost its defence capabilities and to prepare the country for NATO membership. Ms. Gottemoeller added that NPA members play an important role in representing constituents and holding political leaders to account for the decisions they take.
During her visit to Georgia, Ms. Gottemoeller will meet with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, Defence Minister Levan Izoria and the Chairman of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze.