President S. Zourabichvili Gifts Books from Elene Akhvlediani’s Personal Library to Museum of Books

Published in Culture
Friday, 20 May 2022 11:04

President Salome Zourabichvili gifted books from the personal library of Elene Akhvlediani to the Museum of Books of the Ilia Chavchavadze National Parliamentary Library on International Museum Day.

According to the administration of the President of Georgia, the books, which were purchased personally by the President, include: Du “Cubisme” by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger and Les Peintres Cubistes by Guillaume Apollinaire.

During the event, the President stated that “these two important books bring us closer to European culture and show how much we had merged with it before the Soviet Union and Soviet pressure separated us from Europe. We are returning to this path now and as a sign of that I want to give you these two books.”

Levan Taktakishvili, Director of the Library Resources Department of the NPLG, noted the number of materials gifted by President Zourabichvili in the library: “We received many gifts from Mme. Zourabichvili dating back to before her presidency. The archives of her parents, of her husband are in the library. It was Mme. Zourabichvili who awarded the Order of National Hero to Mikha Khelashvili. We’re always ready to seek more and more interesting material.”

Congratulatory message to the President of Georgia

Published in World
Friday, 18 March 2022 15:10

Incumbent President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov sent his sincere congratulations and best wishes to Ms. Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia in connection with her birthday anniversary.

Availing of this pleasant opportunity, the incumbent President of Turkmenistan wished Ms. Salome Zourabichvili, President of Georgia sound health, personal happiness, boundless energy as well as great successes in all her undertakings.

2022 Address to the Parliament of Georgia by President Salome Zourabichvili

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 15 March 2022 12:32

2022 Address to the Parliament of Georgia by President Salome Zourabichvili. "Horrible scenes are unfolding before our eyes today. Hospitals, children's oncological hospitals, kindergartens and schools, even churches of a same faith bombed by Russia. Evacuation of the elderly and pregnant women.

The relentless struggle of Ukrainian soldiers, or ordinary citizens, to defend their land, homeland and save their independence: such a selfless struggle against Russian aggression only evokes in us respect, solidarity and support.

Georgia has stood and stands by Ukraine and Ukrainians!

I would like to ask you to stand up and show our solidarity!

Let us honor the selfless heroes with a minute of silence!

I want to thank the representative of Ukraine here, Mr. Andrii Kasianov, and with him all those who are defending our freedom and our European future today in Kyiv, in Odessa, in Mariupol.

I want you to know that we are expressing the united spirit of all of Georgia here. We express here, all of us gathered here, the support of the State and of all its institutions, of all political forces and of ordinary citizens. I also want to emphasize that today, the Church is represented here with us and together, we all express our full support for Ukraine and for the Ukrainians!

Today, from those looking at this tragedy, we Georgians understand what Russian centuries-old imperialism means, we Georgians understand and share the most what the Ukrainian nation is going through.

Ukraine and Georgia went through one path: liberation from the Russian Empire, independence, invasion by Soviet Russia and its following uprisings, repressions and the Holodomor; restoration of independence, separatist conflicts provoked by Russia, more war and more occupation. Despite all this, no one and nothing could stop us from freedom and independence. No one and nothing could make us deviate from the historical European path we have chosen.

The history of Georgia, just as the history of Ukraine, is a history of pride and devotion. History is an example of trials and tribulations, of relentless, heroic, selfless struggle against the invaders. This is how a nation is created. The miracle of the centuries-old history of the Georgian nation has been and is in its endurance, its resilience, its unbreakability, its pride! Today, we see the same attitude in Ukraine, and I believe it can only lead to victory.

Today, not only Ukraine, but the whole world is facing the hardest days, but the battle of Ukraine, whether it is won or not, is already successful! Successful, because these events opened the eyes of the world and woke us up.

Undoubtedly, Ukraine's merit is unprecedented international solidarity and unity in this solidarity. Undoubtedly, Ukraine's merit is the unprecedented unanimity and firmness of the European Union, the joint actions of the United States and Europe. Through its accomplishment, Russia is isolated today, weakened tomorrow.

Today is a turning point for everyone, including Georgia, because today we are facing great challenges that may become even more severe tomorrow. Yet at the same time, as is usual in history, with new challenges, crises and wars come new opportunities. New roads are opening up. On this new path, Georgia must take its place. We need to understand what is happening, understand and prepare for every possible event and not sit idly by and wait for what the future holds. This is the obligation of all of us who sit here before the country! Time is running out. If we do not prepare for new events, new threats and new opportunities now, that time will not come back.

That is why I fail to understand and cannot tolerate, that today, at such a crucial time for our country and for all of us, instead of ending quarrels, fights, enmities, destructive confrontations and polarizations at this crossroads, those of you gathered here forget what is reflected on our coat of arms: “Strength is in Unity!”

Society is much more awake than you, conscious, brave and most importantly united. Today I see that signs of national accord have been awakened in the people, although I do not see it in you. Do you not understand what responsibilities you have all together before your people?

And today both sides, both the ruling power and the opposition, are sinning and sinning in front of the country!

The majority, instead of seeking consent, chastises anyone who disagrees as traitor and sometimes as party to war. The opposition, instead of seeking accord, declares any statement or decision of the government as pro-Russian.

Both approaches, in addition to being completely unacceptable and reminiscent of the methods of the Soviet past, are detrimental to country, both from the inside and the outside, and to some extent dangerous. At home, they cause division, weaken us, deprive us of power, confuse and frighten society. Outside the country, they make incomprehensible the sustainability and purposefulness of our national aspirations.

The government sins when it does not dare to express what our history and dignity dictate. There is no justification for this. None of the arguments of caution or fear changes the fact that we must stand with dignity, at least in words, where our conscience and our Georgianness demand it!

The government sins when, at this turning point, it did not present before Europe this historic declaration of our country as backed by joint signatures as a sign of national consolidation and as the first step of national accord, but chose to lock itself in and sign it alone.

The government sins when party is given preference over state institutions over decision-making or publicity. When key decisions between government agencies are not considered jointly and information is not shared. How can one believe that in such a difficult and watchful circumstance the Security Council had not met even once, never have military threats been jointly discussed in the presence of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. These machinations must be corrected immediately!

The opposition sins when it has attempts in Brussels, Kyiv or the United States to tarnish Georgia's name and face and portray the country in such a way that we prefer fear to dignity! As if we are not worthy of either joining the European Union or partnering with NATO and the United States. Or even worse, when it claims that the government - and therefore the country - has changed its pro-Western course! It is an insult to the country and to your people when you accuse your country so much in Washington and your own country has to defend itself from you. Such politically motivated attack not only harms the government, but also the country and bids the work of the enemy.

The opposition sins when it insults the police and police officers. The Police is an institution with a special responsibility for the stability and security of the country. Especially during this extremely tense period. Respect and support for them is incumbent on everyone, especially those chosen by the people. How is this time for ketchup and flour? It is a shame!

The opposition sins when it calls for radical measures and seeks to overthrow the government, that is, to use its current international situation to achieve its own political agenda. In one shot, it puts the country in a deadlock and maybe in danger, without seeking responsibility for it. It verbally appeals to unity while seeking to win political points through provocations.

However, I agree with both. With the government on the need for some caution and with the opposition on the need for courage.

Therefore, I do not and will not go into the assessment of individual statements or actions of the government that relate to the war in Ukraine and our security. Such discussions should take place in a closed but inclusive format, involving everyone, listening and exchanging opinions, and then everyone should take joint responsibility for the decisions made. The government is responsible for creating this format.

Therefore, I do not and will not go into analyzing the actions of individuals who are deliberately manipulating and trying to sow misunderstanding, resentment, disagreement and inspire any rift between two friendly countries during this difficult time. It is clear to everyone and our partners are well aware that any disagreement between Ukraine and Georgia is favorable for Russia and only for Russia.

I do not and will not go into the discussion of the issue of pardoning Saakashvili, where it should be coming from, because the answer has already been given once. The resurgence of this matter at the time of the war in Ukraine only provokes internal polarization.

Once again, even an attempt to bring any misunderstanding between us and Ukraine is unacceptable. I will not allow this. Therefore, just like last year, on April 9, during my address to Parliament, I appealed to the Government of Georgia to return our Ambassador to Ukraine. Also, today from here, from this rostrum, I address my colleague and friend, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and ask him to return the ambassador so that the connection between the two nations, in these difficult moments, can be fully strengthened, closer and more unwaveringly.

In this difficult time, let us open our eyes at least today and understand what is happening to us. Let us all come to our senses, let's get into this new time together and show to the country the direction and the path!

Let’s correct what hinders us on the path to progress and success. Unity is our only solution. This unity begins with the President, as according to the Constitution, the President guarantees unity.

Therefore, it is absurd when you accuse the President of dividing society when she appeared on Rustaveli Avenue to represent the whole of Georgia! To represent all those who did not come because of political reasons and those who simply could not come. At the same time, the President presented herself on Rustaveli Avenue as the host of the President of a friendly country, as Georgian manners require! This is not a division, this is the first expression of national accord! Those who do not understand this do not understand the voice of the nation. If not the politicians, the public understood all of it perfectly.

And it is time for everyone to understand that the president does not belong to any political force and will not belong to another. She fulfills only the promise made at the inauguration: "I take responsibility with the authority granted by the Constitution, to be the president of all, the president of all Georgian citizens."

The institution of the President is not just about respect, it is necessary to cooperate with it, especially during this difficult period. The war in Ukraine, the new approaches of the EU, Georgia's place in the light of these changes, threats and preparedness ... These are topics that should and would be discussed in any country, not only within the government, but also between the government and the president, between the majority in parliament and various opposition.

Therefore, two weeks ago, I signed a special session of parliament to discuss Ukraine. Therefore, I requested that the Security Council be held in an expanded format.

I therefore appealed to Parliament to schedule my speech on 5 March, shortly after my return from Europe. None of the calls were shared, no extraordinary meeting was scheduled, nor extended Security Council, and finally, the date required for the annual speech was not met.

It is incomprehensible at this time, when the need is highest and time is running out, the restrictions imposed on the President's international activities.

On February 26, 2022, I was refused in written manner to pay working visits to Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Warsaw. Given the current situation, I have canceled all official formats. At such times I found it necessary to use my personal contacts and turn working visits into personal meetings. I think that this approach and such restrictions are harmful for our country, which is in such a difficult region. There is no time for restrictions, on the contrary, whatever we can, at the international level, we should be involved as much as possible, we should not give rest to our partners! I even think that my forty years of experience in diplomacy and strategic affairs, and the personal contacts acquired during this period, are more useful to this country than to lose.

Today we are faced with two issues that force us to act together: that is, the issue of new EU membership and the issues of support for Ukraine and the problems created around it.

My visit to Europe has convinced me that there is a new real and genuine chance of joining the European Union, a real readiness on the part of our partners. In this context, it was necessary and I tried my best, through personal meetings and through international media appearances to establish Georgia's place in these processes, so for them not to be tempted to either forget Georgia or consider it in a different light than Ukraine or Moldova.

Now it is heard from all sides: What shall we do? How do we increase our chances? When and how?

My answer is: Unity! Unity and unity!

There should be no division and separate running to our partners! It is necessary to prepare and present the united plan for the national accord, which will not be a subject to the annulment! President, Prime Minister, Government and the Parliament, all political parties, media, non-governmental organizations, ordinary citizens – all of us should be united and act around one plan and one purpose. We should be working on the package of reforms the execution of which will be mandatory if we seriously see out future in Europe. This will be the real illustration of the national accord, without which, so far none of the countries have integrated in the EU.

Similarly, our approach toward the war in Ukraine should be consolidated. It’s not permissible for anyone, whether a friend or an enemy, to doubt that we cannot agree on such an existential question of existence. I’m convinced that the society thinks more sensibly and its consolidation is possible. It’s not permissible that the country that historically is an exemplary heir to the wars of independence and those of injustice not to stand with Ukraine. It is also clear that as the representative of the US State Department has noticed himself, it not permissible for anyone not to understand the extraordinary conditions that the country, with 20% of the territories occupied with the occupation line located in 40km from the capital, is in.

Our path is one: of principle, but intelligible, neither the provocation of the confrontation, not of advance concession and vague politics of the extreme caution. If this line becomes that of our union, in this framework, it will be easier to discuss our sentimental questions, sanctions etc.

On the one side, ccautiousness is necessary, because of the occupation, regional challenges and country’s economic capabilities.  On the other side requires us to behave as suitable to Ukraine’s friend and member of international community. The question of Russian citizens entering the country is a sensitive one, which should not become subject of our division, cause of a reputation damage and that of panic.  Here too, we have to maintain balanced position. In this regard, those official statements that appellate on the dangers of ethic discrimination in Georgia are harmful. Instead, the Government is obliged to provide the society with exact and timely information, and convince it that civil order is ensured both on the border and in the country.

I would like to address the government and the opposition party representatives: in these hardest times all means should be used to achieve the united position: on the side, the question of EU integration and on the other side – Ukraine. It should be achieved in a way that none of the questions are used for narrow, political interests. I welcome Prime Minister’s statement regarding EU integration. I welcome the resolution that the parliament is working on and I call on this resolution to be adopted unanimously. I have also familiarizes myself with the statements of several NGOs, societies’ petitions and initiatives that I also welcome.

I offer for all these beginnings to be united and for everyone to sign one document, which will be our application’s support and the sign of our full consolidation, and for it to be sent to European Union in one package on behalf of Georgia.

I offer an immediate creation of the position of the EU Integration State Minister and its department, which can be selected from the opposition. He/She will conduct coordination for the integration requirements to be promptly executed, as in the case of other candidate countries.

I call on Government to create extended or other format of the National Security Council with the participation of the opposition, where all the sentimental questions will be discussed. Here too, I would like to once again call on you to announce moratorium on the hate speech in this hardest period.

Lastly, I address the people – I want to thank you for all the private solidarity initiatives, with which you have expressed the support for Ukraine.

Also, on behalf of the Georgian living Ukraine and my own, I would like to thank the employees of the Embassy and the Consulate in Kyiv, Odessa and Lviv, for their personal and tireless devotion.

I want to tell you that hard period is waiting for us, hard economic and social circumstances, just like the whole world. This is our contributing part, at a time when our Ukrainian brothers with their blood and fight are defending the freedom and independence, and open the doors for a new future.

I want you to know, I will try everything, with the Government and the opposition to together find the means of cooperation and unity. To stand up to the threats together and together to find the keys of all the new doors. You too have to contribute, to fulfill your obligation and to bring National Accord to reality. This is the real cornerstone of the country, which will allow us to endure and do everything.

Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Heroes! Long live Georgia"!

Statement by the President of Georgia - Today we are all grateful to Ukraine, which is fighting for our freedom!

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 02 March 2022 14:19

The dignity of Georgia has always been and still is that we have always stood by our principles and have stood, where Georgia should have!

No one expects us to take measures that would endanger the country, however, everyone expects solidarity from us – you are expecting it, so am I. This is why I am in Paris today and will be visiting Brussels tomorrow – to express Georgian solidarity to Ukraine. 

At a time, when all of Europe is united, we too have to become part of this unity. Today, a new window opens, where Europeans are ready to look differently at the future of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. We have to be here and want everyone to remember (and this is why I am here) that Georgia, like Ukraine, is one of those countries that tomorrow will be part of Europe, of the Europe that today has showed its dignity with its unity and its active support for Ukraine. 

Today, we are all grateful to Ukraine that is fighting for our freedom and we don’t want a different image of Georgia on the international arena. 

We are the country that has historically always been faithful to its principles.

Statement by the President of Georgia

Statement of the Administration of the President

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 22 December 2021 10:29

The process of national accord initiated by the President is a complex and difficult process that is both open and transparent and in no way secretive. In recent days, various information has been spread, the source of which is not the Administration of the President.

At the beginning stage of the national accord process, the President is listening to everyone and holding meetings and is interested in the views, initiatives and positions of various societal groups, all of which are part of the greater national accord process.

It should be noted that not only political parties but also the public at large, including representatives of non-governmental organizations working on victims’ issues, are involved in this process.

The President has already held meetings with the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, former President Giorgi Margvelashvili and representatives of political parties. The process continues and the President continues to hold active meetings.

Statement by President Salome Zourabichvili

Published in Politics
Monday, 22 November 2021 15:36

I welcome the plan to transfer the former President to the Gori Military Hospital as a place that meets all medical and security standards.

This decision fully responds to the request of the European Court of Human Rights, to which the former President agreed to end his hunger strike if transferred to a multidisciplinary clinic.

I also welcome Elene Khoshtaria's decision to end her hunger strike.

The readiness of the opposition to not hold protests in the vicinity of the clinic is important and the right thing to do, as is the decision of some parties to end their parliamentary boycott.

Today's decisions are steps forward that will ensure the peace of society and the stability of the country.

Readout of the President’s Meeting with Secretary General Helga Schmid of the OSCE

Published in Politics
Thursday, 17 June 2021 15:04

President Salome Zourabichvili held a meeting today at the Orbeliani Palace with H.E. Helga Maria Schmid, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, during which the two leaders agreed on the President’s initiative to hold a conference of women leaders in Georgia to promote the role of women in peace and security. The sides also discussed the upcoming municipal elections and stressed the importance of the participation of election observation missions especially the OSCE/ODIHR EOM.

The sides also discussed the occupied territories, including the deteriorating of the humanitarian situation following the closure of crossing points by the de facto regime, human rights violations and kidnappings by the occupation regime, the case of Zaza Gakheladze, and the need to strengthen the Geneva International Discussions to increase the effectiveness of the format.

President Zourabichvili and Secretary General Schmid also touched on the regional situation and stressed Georgia’s role in ensuring regional peace and stability. 

News Releases of the President administration

 

Political parties signed Charles Michel's compromise paper

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 20 April 2021 09:46

The Georgian political parties signed A way ahead for Georgia, a compromise document submitted to the parties by the European Council President Charles Michel, at the Orbeliani Palace on April 19.

Davit Bakradze, Aleko Elisashvili, Badri Japaridze, Zurab Japaridze, Mamuka Khazaradze, Vakhtang Megrelishvili, Shalva Papuashvili, Salome Samadashvili, Khatuna Samnidze, Archil Talakvadze, and Giorgi Vashadze have signed the document.

Khatuna Samnidze, Davit Bakradze and Salome Samadashvili have made signatures individually, as the bloc National Movement – Strength in Unity and the European Georgia party did not join the compromise paper.

The EU and US Ambassadors Carl Hartzell and Kelly Degnan attended the signing ceremony. European Council President Charles Michel joined the event virtually.

President Michel presented a new document to the political parties on April 18. According to a new document, if the ruling party wins less than 43 per cent of electoral support in local polls, early parliamentary elections will be called in 2022.

Address of Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili

Published in Politics
Monday, 19 April 2021 17:44

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili today announced that she pledges to pardon Giorgi Rurua if political actors sign the EU-backed compromise paper and enter the parliament.

"I am surprised by the statement made today by the ruling party that uses my name over and over again without my permission and consent and links it to one specific pardon. They have not understood that such a decision, especially in such a case but not only, should be made without expectations of criticism or praise and only if I deem it necessary. I think I have already shown this through my deeds.

I would like to remind everyone of one simple rule: the power of pardon is the discretion of the President and is not the subject of negotiations. I want to make it clear that the decision to pardon, as I have said more than once, is not subject to pressure, to instructions or demands, whether they may be from the opposition, the ruling party, or anyone else.

According to principle, the President does not speak about pardons and does not disclose motivation. However, because of some continuous appeals on this subject and because of the current situation, I am forced to violate this principle and state clearly my position to stop any speculation.

I think no one will be surprised to hear that for me and for the rest of society, someone with such a well-known past can be called many things, but not a political prisoner. That individual does not fit into any category of pardon by any means, be it righteousness, morality, or politics.

Nevertheless, as I once already took it upon myself, I believe here again that if what’s at stake is the country’s political stalemate, its stability, progress, and future, it is the President’s duty to put the country above her own views and principles.

With that in mind, I am ready to make a decision scandalous also for myself. But I make this decision only on my condition, that such a step must be the last step to end the crisis and pave the way for the country and for Parliament to enter a normal political life and deal with existing challenges without any other distractions.

This means that my decision will be implemented only when, on the one hand, the political parties sign the final document and enter Parliament, and on the other hand, the representatives of the European Union and the United States announce that an agreement has been reached. Once this announcement is done, I will sign the act of pardon within a week", - the President of Georgia Says.

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian arrives in Tbilisi

Published in Politics
Thursday, 15 April 2021 14:34

The President of the Republic of Armenia, Armen Sarkissian, arrived today in the Georgian capital Tbilisi with an official visit.

Georgian presidential administration reports that Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, Head of Presidential Administration Natia Sulava, and Georgian Ambassador to Armenia Giorgi Saganelidze welcomed Armenian President at the Tbilisi International Airport.

The official welcoming ceremony of Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and his spouse Nune Sarkissian will be held at the Orbeliani Palace.

Georgian and Armenian Presidents will have face-to-face and expanded meetings and make a joint statement for the media. Georgian Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze will also meet the Armenian President.

Armen Sarkissian plans to tour the Armenian Cathedral within the framework of his official visit.

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