The concept championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping of building "a community with a shared future for mankind" corresponds to the situation in today's world, where nobody can prosper alone, said the chief of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). In the current world, "you can only prosper if those around you are prospering," IPUSecretary-General Martin Chungong said in a recent interview with Xinhua. Since Xi expounded the idea in a landmark keynote speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva in January 2017, the vision has gained broader international recognition for offering Chinese solutions to global challenges. "This concept is commensurate with the global thinking today," Chungong told Xinhua at the Geneva headquarters of the IPU, a long-standing international organization that will mark the 130th anniversary of its founding next year. "The world is no longer a conglomerate of individual countries or nation states. We all belong to one community today," he said. "When we look at the challenges that are facing us today, we cannot say they are particular to China, or Switzerland or Cameroon or other countries." For instance, what is happening in Cameroon may have ramifications in China or in Europe, said the IPU chief, a national of the west African country of Cameroon. He pointed out that there are many problems that concern all nations, such as migration and the fight against terror, and that must be taken as global issues instead of local ones. "When you look at climate, I think of a former UN secretary-general who said climate change has no national passport. It has no borders. So, I am very supportive of this notion," said Chungong. The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, he said, is consistent with the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind. "If you build a railway that goes from Europe to eastern Asia and people along the route can benefit from this, why not?" he said. Brushing away allegations that the rise of China might be a threat to the outside world, the IPU head said the ascent of China as a major global player is a "legitimate ambition." "It is legitimate for any country or for any leaders to make their country great," he said. "What is important here is to promote cooperation in a win-win environment, as President Xi has promised." Enditem
The President of Turkmenistan: Central and South Asia is the space for active international economic cooperationSaturday, 24 February 2018 15:06
Ceremonial events on occasion of the launch of new construction phase of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India gas line (TAPI) and power and fibre optic lines Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan as well as opening o Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad were held in Serhetabat etrap, Mary Velayat. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shahid Hakan Abbasi and State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India Mabashar Javed Akbar who arrived in our country took part in the ceremonies.
In the morning, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov left Mary by helicopter for the place of ceremonial events in Serhetabat etrap. After the flight, the helicopter landed at special helipad.
After, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India arrived in the place of events .
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and high-rank guests proceeded to the ceremony staging place.
Exhibition symbolically dedicated to the Great Silk Road was organized at the same place. Its exhibits allow getting visual impression of original traditions and customs, rich culture of the nations of four countries participating in TAPI project, which territories this ancient trade route used to cross.
The exposition of our country bears the slogan of this year “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road” and gives an opportunity to familiarize with the history of legendary path that run across Turkmen land, which is told by the map presented there. The displays introduce world known historical and cultural monuments of Turkmenistan located along the Great Silk Road as well as the samples of applied art including beautiful jewelleries and famous Turkmen carpets.
Thematic paintings, works of national handcrafts masters demonstrating their skills in production of national dress and headdress, felt mats, wooden souvenirs, ceramic and copper items, horse harness encrusted with silver, musical instruments, etc. have been presented at the exhibition.
The showrooms of Pakistan demonstrated decorative and applied art items including the samples of traditional painting and musical instruments. The exhibits of Pakistani partners also allow getting the impression on natural places of interests of friendly country.
The exposition of Afghanistan is mainly represented by the northern province of Herat. Souvenirs, samples of national painting art, original works of the artists and other were demonstrated there. The carpets especially those made by the representatives of Turkmen diaspora in Herat attract greatest attention.
The President of Turkmenistan and high-rank guests looked around the exhibition with the great interest. Masters of arts prepared their artistic gift on occasion of remarkable events and enthusiastically performed bright sing and dance composition.
The President of Turkmenistan, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the State Foreign Minister of the Republic of India went inside the building where numerous participants of the ceremony have been gathered in the conference hall. There were the Chairperson of the Mejlis, Deputy Chairmen of the Cabinet of Ministers, leaders of military and law enforcement agencies, ministries and departments, non-governmental organizations. The heads of diplomatic missions accredited in our country, delegations of number of the states, representatives of competent international financial structures including Asian and Islamic Development banks, business circles, foreign and national ass media were also among the participants.
Welcoming high-rank guests and all the participants in ancient Turkmen land, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that the construction of Afghan part of TAPI pipeline, which is to serve for the sake of fundamental interests of fraternal nations of the region would be launched as well as foundation stone of 500 KWt power line and fibre optic line Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan would be laid.
Having congratulated the participants on the launch of the above-mentioned facilities, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed the confidence that implementation of such significant projects would be another important step toward further consolidation of beneficial friendly relations of independent neutral Turkmenistan with the states of the world.
Having informed that it is planned to open new Turkmenbashy International Seaport soon, the President of Turkmenistan taking an opportunity invited the participants of the events to the opening ceremony.
After, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shahid Hakan Abbasi and State Foreign Minister of the Republic of India Mobashar Javed Akbar addressed the participants of the ceremony.
After the speeches the documents signing ceremony took place. The following documents have been signed:Intergovernmental Agreement on Electrical Power Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan between the Government of Turkmenistan, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;The General Conditions of the Agreement with the Government of Receiving State on Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline project.
Later in the ceremony, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave start to the construction of Afghan part of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline and power and fibre optic lines Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan as well as opened new railroad Serhetabat – Turgundy by direct TV bridge.
The participants watched with the interest the welding together two steel pipes of another part of TAPI energy route, start of construction of power and fibre optic cables carried out using special machinery and equipment.
After, the participants of the events witnesses of the first train leaving border Turkmen station Serhetabat for neighbouring Afghanistan, Herat Province.
After the ceremony, the official photographing of the President of Turkmenistan, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the State Foreign Minister of the Republic of India took place on the background of the State Flags of four countries.
After, the Heads of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the State Foreign Minister of India left Serhetabat etrap for Afghan city Herat where the ceremony was continued.
Congress Centre «Möwlana Jelaletdin Balh» was the place of celebration events where at the main entrance, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was welcomed by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
Having shaken hands, the leaders of two countries entered the hall of the building and traditionally were photographed on the background of the State Flags of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
Joint photographing of the heads of the delegation of the background of the State Flags of participating countries has also taken place before the start of the event.
Welcoming high-rank guests and all participants of the ceremony on Afghan land, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan highlighted that ancient city Herat witnessed the historical events that are important not only for Afghanistan but also for entire region and future generations.
Having noted that after completion of the construction of TAPI, connecting corridor between our countries would be made, Mohamad Ashraf Ghani expressed the confidence that Afghan youth would also take active part in the project.
Afghanistan places a lot of hope on the realization of big projects initiated by Turkmenistan in energy, transport and communication spheres that bring the progress and prosperity to the region.
In this regard, the Head of neighbouring state expressed sincere gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for constant support and help in peaceful restoration of Afghanistan, having highlighted that Afghan people highly appreciate this fact and value the friendship with fraternal Turkmen nation.
The floor was given to the Head of Turkmenistan. Addressing the participants of the ceremony, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed sincere gratitude to his Afghan colleague Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for the hospitality and high level of organization of this event.
The launch of construction of the next phase of TAPI pipeline, power and fibre optic line between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad visually demonstrate responsible approach of all member states of these projects, their foresight, consent, commitment to their obligations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted.
These projects open new opportunities for further activation and expansion of international cooperation, attraction of other countries, world economic unions and financial organizations and business communities to this work.
All of these serves as visual confirmation of successful practical realization of common strategic purpose – active integration of our states to the world economy in continental and global scales.
Mentioning great importance of current events for Afghanistan, the President expressed firm confidence that opening of such important facilities would give strong impulse to economic development of neighbouring country and to revival of its industrial and social infrastructure.
The Head of Turkmenistan noted that Central and South Asian is the space for active international economic cooperation. These are the territories, through which ancient trade routes connecting Europe and Asia used to run for many centuries. At present time, the states of these regions occupy important positions in the intensification of global economic partnership, which main parts are composed by energy and transport spheres. Realization of the projects in these directions opens colossal perspectives for optimization of transport and energy relations in Eurasian space.
The projects of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline, Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan power and fibre optic lines as well as Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad turn into fundamental geopolitical condition. Their realization will make big positive effect on general situation in Asia and beyond its borders, having turned into the factor of the provision of sustainable development and security in the region.
Turkmen leader highlighted that current events are very important for our state as energy, transport and communications projects that just have started would support rapid development of the economies of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
Greeting the participants, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shahid Hakan Abbasi congratulated the participants of the ceremony and nations of four countries on current remarkable event – the launch of construction of Afghan part of TAPI pipeline, having highlighted the historical significance of the implementation of this large energy projects for the provision of peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.
Having emphasized that this project would be some sort of messenger of the beginning of new age in the history of the region, the Prime Minister of Pakistan addressed special congratulations to Afghan people.
Having expressed the gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for the hospitality and high organizational level of the ceremonies, Prime Minister Shahid Hakan Abbasi assured them in the commitment of Pakistan to its partnership obligations.
The floor was given to the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the republic of India who, having congratulated the participants of the ceremony on the start of the construction of another phase of TAPI pipeline, power and fibre optic lines as well as on the opening of new railroad, highlighted that these events vividly indicate dynamic long-term character of interstate partnership.
India attaches great importance to this large-scale project, expressing the interest in supplies of gas and providing reliable market for it as well as to other infrastructural projects, which are important for all countries of the region, especially for Afghanistan, Mobashar Javed Akbar said.
Mobashar Javed Akbar expressed the confidence that joint efforts of participating countries will result in successful completion of the project and would be visual example of goodwill of the sides and efficient and equal cooperation.
Teleconference connecting the Congress Centre with the construction site where Afghan specialist started the construction of Afghan part of transnational energy route took place afterwards.
Video about the opening of recently built railroad Serhetabat – Turgundy with departure of the first train was demonstrated after the teleconference.
In the end, having said warm goodbye to his Afghan colleague and high-rank guests and shared best wishes to friendly states and nations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov went to the helipad and left Herat for Mary Velayat.
Mubashir Javed Akbar: TAPI gas pipeline is an important project for the economy of India
Speaking during the ceremony of launching the construction of the Afghan section of the TAPI gas pipeline, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India Mubashir Javed Akbar emphasized that he was glad to visit Turkmenistan in this historical moment. The State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India emphasized that the peoples of Turkmenistan and India had centuries-old ties of friendship and cooperation, noting that these relations are an important foundation for further expansion of the partnership.
In this context, Mubashir Javed Akbar told that the mausoleum of Abdyrrahim khan, the son of the outstanding Turkmen commander Bayram Khan Turkmen was located in his country. Speaking about the great deeds of Bayram Khan, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India presented the poetic lines, celebrating the honour of the man, who was able to share his wealth and inspire to good deeds, linking them with the modern initiatives of Turkmen leader, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, aimed at using the wealth that Turkmenistan possesses in the name of the universal peace and prosperity. The State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India supported this idea with the well-known proverb: "Knowledge grows with time, and prosperity increases if it is shared".
Focusing on the significance of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, Mubashir Javed Akbar noted that its implementation symbolized the common goal, allowing us to look to the future with hope. Speaking about the social aspect of TAPI, the high-ranking guest stressed that the construction of this transnational energy bridge would significantly improve the living conditions of the population in the region and would offer dynamics to its further development, since gas carries not only energy but also progress. The TAPI gas pipeline is an important project for the Indian economy as well. Mubashir Javed Akbar underlined that the pipeline not only connected the countries, but also created new prospects, especially taking into account the opportunities available in the region. Thus, TAPI is a new page in history, Mobashar Javed Akbar stated.
Speaking about the future of the Turkmen-Indian cooperation, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India emphasized the prospects of the bilateral cooperation in various fields, and especially in the field of IT technologies. The high-level guest said that India welcomed the forward-looking policy pursued by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the successful implementation of which made the TAPI project a reality.
In conclusion, Mobashar Javed Akbar cited the words of the Turkmen leader that in modern conditions the Great Silk Road stood as the revival of the ancient creative traditions. Laying of the new fiber-optic communication line will continue them. Congratulating everyone on the start of the next stage of construction of the TAPI gas pipeline, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India addressed the best wishes of progress and prosperity to the peoples of the countries participating in this grandiose project.
Prime Minister of Pakistan: TAPI Projects Creates New Opportunities for Productive Interstate Cooperation
It is a great honor for me to be here today, said the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, at the ceremony dedicated to the launch of the next stage of the TAPI project.
The head of Government of Pakistan expressed sincere gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, for the pragmatic approach to the issues of international energy cooperation and constructive initiatives put forward in this strategic sphere.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan stressed that the concept of construction of the TAPI pipeline is coming to fruition, which means that long-standing historical bonds between the peoples of the region are reborn and new opportunities for productive interstate cooperation are created.
Thanking the governments of all countries taking part in the TAPI project for active contribution to its implementation, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi noted Pakistan’s major interest in the new energy route due to the dynamic pace of economic development and, consequently, the growing demands for energy of the country with a population of 270 million people.
The head of Government of Pakistan also stressed the importance of projects in the field of electric energy and establishment of international transit and transport corridors aimed at promoting comprehensive development and economic prosperity of Central Asia.
Pakistan is ready for future active cooperation in this field, stated Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and renewed his congratulations to the TAPI project partners and to the Asian Development Bank with the launch of the new stage of construction of the pipeline.
President of Afghanistan: TAPI is Foundation for Cooperation of Future Generations
Today we are laying the foundation not only for the further construction of the pipeline, but also for cooperation of our future generations, said President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, at the ceremony dedicated to the launch of the next stage of the TAPI project.
The Afghan leader noted the tremendous significance of today’s event from the standpoint of regional development: “The countries of Southern Asia – Indian, Pakistan and others – are actively developing intestate links in all fields. At the same time, Central Asia is expanding cooperation with Southern Asian countries, being a bridge in strengthening productive cooperation”.
The dignified guest also stressed that Turkmenistan’s deliberate foreign policy course, based on the principles of neutrality, is of specific importance for Afghanistan. He emphasized the productive nature of relations between our countries that are developing both in bilateral format and on regional and multilateral levels.
Noting the successful holding of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, the Afghan leader highlighted that this was a success not only for Turkmenistan, but for the Central Asia as a whole.
The far-sighted and wise policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is an important positive factor in the region, stated Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, and continued by stating that dynamic economic development, social stability and availability of vast potential define today’s Turkmenistan.
The Afghan leader placed a special emphasis on the fact that, thanks to the policy and concrete steps taken by the Government of Turkmenistan, the construction of the TAPI pipeline reached the stage of practical implementation. Thanking the Turkmen side for the tremendous contribution to the realization of this project that will engage thousands of construction workers, the President of Afghanistan addressed the head of Turkmenistan with a request to continue supporting this project that is important for the whole region.
Currently, TAPI is deemed to be not only a gas pipeline, but also a corridor uniting our countries. This project is not only of economic, but also of political significance. Construction of electric power and fiber-optic lines along the pipeline’s route will help link Turkmenistan, Central Asia with Chabahar Port, and Afghanistan will play a role as a bridge between the countries of the region, stated Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, and reiterated his country’s readiness to perform this function.
Agreement on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan electricity transmission line signed
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan electricity transmission line between the Government of Turkmenistan, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, as well as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project Heads of Terms - Host Government Agreement were signed during the solemn ceremony of launching the construction of the next sstage of the TAPI project and laying the electricity transmission lines and fibre-optic lines along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route.
Visa names Andrew Torre Regional President for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa RegionThursday, 25 January 2018 12:51
Torre will also sit on Visa’s global Operating Committee in San Francisco
Currently serves as Visa President Sub-Saharan Africa and sits on U.S. President’s Council for Africa
Tbilisi – January 23, 2018 – Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) has announced the appointment of Andrew Torre as Regional President for its Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region, based in Dubai. Torre, who previously led Visa’s Sub-Saharan Africa business, will now oversee all of Visa’s operations in more than 90 countries across CEMEA and report to Visa’s global president, Ryan McInerney. Torre will also sit on Visa’s global Operating Committee.
Torre is a Visa and payments industry veteran, with deep experience across the markets that comprise Visa’s CEMEA region. Having previously worked with the World Bank in Kiev, Moscow and CIS territories, Torre has been with Visa since 2002, holding global roles in product, strategy and pricing, as well as general manager roles in Russia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Andrew’s deep experience, which touches every part of our CEMEA region, has prepared him well for his new role. It provides him with a phenomenal understanding of both Visa’s global operations, as well as the markets that make up this fascinating and complex region. This will not only benefit Visa and our financial institution clients, but also add tremendous value to our merchant and government partners as we strive together to bring the benefits of connected, digital commerce to more people in the region” says Ryan McInerney, President, Visa Inc.
He adds; “We are doubly proud and excited that the world-class executive we needed to bring into this role came from our own in-market ranks. This is testament to the value we place on hiring the best people, and helping them develop into the best they can be.”
Visa’s mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure digital payment network that enables individuals, businesses and economies to thrive.
“Nowhere is our mission more important to economic growth and prosperity than in the CEMEA region,” says Torre. “By 2020, we estimate that around 25 percent of the world’s population will live in this region, and those consumers will be young, technology savvy, and hungry for financial services that are more relevant and accessible to them. This opens up exciting opportunities for us to service those future consumers through innovative, mobile technologies that Visa is deploying, right now, in market, in anticipation of future consumer needs.
He continues, “What is even more exciting is that there is a huge amount of home-grown innovation happening in markets around this region, led by local developers. We are enabling this innovation through the deployment of our APIs (application programming interfaces) to help developers access the Visa network, and then backing it up by creating innovation spaces, like our Center in Dubai and forthcoming Studio in Moscow, for them to co-create with us. These are hugely exciting times for the industry and for Visa, and I am honored to have been chosen to lead our efforts at this important moment in Visa’s history.”
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com, www.visasoutheasteurope.com, https://www.facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE, www.visanewscissee.com
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has hosted a meeting with OSCE Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Günther Bächler at the Presidential Palace. The meeting has also been attended by the Ambassador of Italy, Antonio Enrico Bartoli, as the Ambassador of the country holding the OSCE chairmanship.
Conversation at the meeting touched upon the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia, issues of conflict resolution and security environment in the region.
President Margvelashvili has spoken about the International Geneva Discussions and the role of OSCE in conflict resolution issues.
The meeting, also attended by Head of Administration of the President Mr. Giorgi Abashishvili and Advisor to the President for Foreign Affairs Mr. Tengiz Pkhaladze also focused on negative impacts on freedom of movement and rights of Georgian citizens caused by the installation of barbed wire fences and banners.
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.
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a face-to-face meeting with President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, who is on an official visit to Georgia.
The head of the Government thanked the President of Armenia for his visit and emphasized positive dynamics of the good-neighborly relations between the countries throughout many years.
"Dear President, I would like to welcome you. We are glad that you decided to visit Georgia. First of all, I would like to congratulate you with the upcoming New Year and wish you peace and stable development for your country. I am glad that your visit finalizes the year when we celebrated 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. However, our relations count centuries and they have always been as warm and good-neighbourly as they are today. We welcome the growing dynamics of our bilateral relations. Welcome!" - Giorgi Kvirikashvili addressed Serzh Sargsyan.
The President of Armenia thanked the Prime Minister of Georgia for the warm welcome and expressed his hopes for deepening the relations between the countries.
"Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for this warm welcome. I am sure that high-level meeting will have solely positive effect on the ever-growing relations between our countries. The path undertaken in last millennium bounds and obliges us to serve our nations throughout the period entrusted to us in a decent manner. I would like to wish Georgian people a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and wish them patience, optimism, since we have no other choice, we have to develop even further," - the President of Armenia noted.
The parties discussed bilateral relations across various fields as well as an official visit of Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili to Armenia, which is scheduled in the near future.
At the Georgian-American celebration of Thanksgiving Day, the king of alternative music of the 80s, Lado Burduli has given great pleasure to the guests and the hosts of the event.
It is known that "Thanksgiving Day is a historic holiday that is celebrated mostly on the last Thursday of November. It is important to note that the Day of Thanksgiving is considered to be a public celebration in America and to express the gratitude towards God from Christians as well as from Muslims and Jews. On the Thanksgiving Day, all the family members and friends gather at the table and enjoy the traditional food.
By an initiative of American Friends Club, Thanksgiving Day has acquired traditional character and this year it was again celebrated in a friendly environment. This year the host of the celebration was a restaurant, “Apartment 37”. The event was attended by the representatives of diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia, international organizations and representatives of the society. The guests were invited to the table full of traditional Georgian and American dishes and Georgian wine varieties.
Prior to the commencement of the event, the guests were welcomed by the President of the American Friends Club Ilia Zukakishvili, sports legendary commentator Jamlet Khukhashvili and the owner of the “Apartment 37”, Zura Natroshvili.
First of all I would like to thank each of you that you found time and today we are celebrating this amazing event together. I would also like to thank the host of today's event, grown up in a traditional family, who is a doctor and now is a successful wine-maker too, Mr. Zura Natroshvili and his “Apartment 37”. The place where we gathered today is distinguished by Tbilisi hospitality and friendly atmosphere. Besides its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is located on the eighth floor of one of the residential buildings of Tbilisi central district and is famous for its” Kvevri” wine in the wine cellar, which always surprises guests. I am absolutely sure that after tomorrow the apartment 37 will become a special place for you all said the president of the American Friends Club Ilia Zukakishvili.
I think that's exactly why the American Friendship Club decided to celebrate American Thanksgiving Day with friends at Apartment 37. I can’t say that the American Thanksgiving Day was held exactly the same way as in the United States, but we did our best to make this celebration unforgettable for our guests. ”The guest is sent from God” and holidays are for people to enjoy each other’s company and share love. Happy Thanksgiving Day once again for you all! You will always be welcomed at “Apartment 37“, at Mgaloblishvili St. 5A, beside Zvania (former Gagarin) Square where you will enjoy the unique combination of delicious dishes of the highest quality, said Zura Natroshvili, the owner of the “Apartment 37”. It should be noted that at the Georgian American Thanksgiving Day, all the guests and hosts had a pleasure to enjoy the compositions performed by the King of Georgian alternative music of 80s, by the talented artist and singer Lado Burduli.
Georgian American Thanksgiving Day Partners were: Aviation Company “Georgian Airways”, Company “ KVG”, English-language daily newspaper “The Messenger”, Informational agency “Front News” and informational agency “Newsday Georgia”.
By: Natela Tugushi
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has held a meeting with the Chairman of the NIPPON Foundation, Mr. Yohei Sasakawa at the Presidential Palace. Mr. Sasakawa has taken part in the regional meeting of Georgian scholarship awardees.
As noted at the meeting, it is necessary to further strengthen ties between Georgia and Japan. Intensification of these relations is supported by the Ambassador of Japan to Georgia and the NIPPON Foundation. Mr. Sasakawa hopes that President Margvelashvili will pay another visit to Japan.
President Margvelashvili has emphasized the prospects of advancing Georgia-Japan cooperation and its importance.
One of the key specialization of the NIPPON Foundation is scholarship programs. Citizens of Georgia have already benefited from the NIPPON scholarship program and pursued their studies in leading marine colleges and institutions. President Margvelashvili has thanked Mr. Sasakawa for financing and supporting these students.
Mr. Sasakawa has also spoken about the Paralympic games to be held as part of 2020 Tokyo Olympics which are financed by the NIPPON Foundation. President Margvelashvili has called on Georgian athletes for active involvement and noted that Georgia's Paralympic team is truly distinguished and its participation important.
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has held a farewell meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to Georgia, Mr. Jānis Zlamets, who has finished his term in Georgia.
At the meeting, the parties have discussed the importance of further enhancing economic and political cooperation between Georgia and Latvia. The conversation has also touched upon Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
President Margvelashvili has thanked Mr. Zlamets for his personal contribution to the development of Georgia-Latvian relations and wished success in his future endeavors.
GEORGIA - Revision of the Constitution - Statement by the Venice Commission President Gianni BUQUICCHIOSaturday, 02 September 2017 11:58
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The revision of the Constitution of Georgia is a major reform meant to transform the current political system into a genuine parliamentary democracy.
In June this year, the Venice Commission issued a positive assessment of the draft revised Constitution, including the declared move towards the fully proportional system of the election of all the members of Parliament. Moreover, we specifically welcomed active co-operation and the commitment of the Georgian parliament not to adopt any amendments negatively assessed by the Venice Commission.
Therefore, the postponement of the introduction of the proportional system to 2024, as well as the repeated failure of the Georgian parties to reach consensus on the revised Constitution through negotiations is disappointing.
The meeting on 6 September 2017 in Strasbourg has been cancelled. I would like to stress that it is essentially up to the Georgian parties themselves to conduct further negotiations and the involvement of the Venice Commission is not required for this process. We encourage all the parties to come to a large consensus on the text through constructive dialogue.
We expect to receive shortly the revised draft of the Constitution from the Georgian authorities and will issue an opinion on it in one month, at the October plenary session (6-7 October in Venice). We encourage the Georgian parliament, before finally adopting the revised draft, to make changes in the light of this opinion and of the dialogue with all Georgian political parties.