The American Friendship Club congratulates happy birthday to PM of Georgia

Published in Society
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 13:04

The American Friendship Club sends you many good wishes on your 49th birthday. The members of the Club wish you good health and continued success in achieving the goals as a PM of Georgia. We are sure that your vision of development of Georgia and endeavors in this direction will give prosperity to our country and will inspire the population of Georgia in particular during the forthcoming elections.

We are convinced that you take the best efforts as a PM of Georgia for the mutual benefit of our friendly countries - the USA and Georgia.We know that the best days are still ahead. Good luck and Godspeed. God bless you, your family and Georgia.

Signing Ceremony in Turkey

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 10:07

Governments of Georgia and Turkey agreed upon establishing high level Strategic Partnership Council - Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim signed respective document. The signing ceremony as held within the frames of official visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia to Turkey.
The Governments of Georgia and Turkey enhance cooperation through mutual support and protection of the investments.
The new agreement "between Georgia and the Republic of Turkey on Mutual Support and Protection of Investments" signed by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Dimitri Kumsishvili, will foster investors from the both countries to undertake investments. It will further ensure stimulation of entrepreneurial initiatives, economic development of the parties to the Agreement and effective utilization of economic resources. 
To develop shipments and transportation using the railway vehicle, the draft of the "Framework Agreement on Railway Shipping and Transportation between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of Georgia" was signed.
The Governments of the two countries agreed upon the cooperation in the areas of labor, social protection and employment. The Ministry of Healthcare David Sergeenko signed the agreement. The Memorandum of Understanding in the area of Corrections between the Ministry of Justice of Turkey and Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia was signed today. The document was signed by Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Kakha Kakhishvili.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with Karlheinz Kopf

Published in Politics
Thursday, 14 July 2016 17:34

Main aspects of Austrian-Georgian relations and prospects of deepening cooperation were discussed at the meeting of Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Second President of Austrian National Council Karlheinz Kopf today.
The conversation touched upon the great potential of bilateral cooperation in various sectors between the countries. Importance of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and its work in various areas, including tourism, agriculture, energy sector, forestry, support of decentralization and gender equality was emphasized.
Parties assessed Georgia's investment potential. It was indicated that Georgia is considered as a secure, reliable partner that lays the foundation for deepening economic cooperation. It was hoped that opening of Austrian Embassy in Tbilisi in 2016 will give new impetus to Austrian-Georgian bilateral relations. 
The parties elaborated on the Georgia's European integration agenda as well as progress attained in view of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan. 
The Second President of Austrian National Council reasserted Austria's strong support to Georgia's European integration. He also indicated 25th anniversary of Georgia's restoration of independence and noted that Austria was one of the first countries to recognize Georgia's independence.
Sides discussed international security issues and conditions in the occupied territories of Georgia. Prime Minister of Georgia thanked Karlheinz Kopf for Austria's support to territorial integrity of Georgia and non-recognition of occupied territories.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with Johannes Hahn

Published in Politics
Thursday, 14 July 2016 15:43

Main aspects of Georgia's European integration and cooperation agenda were discussed during the meeting of Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn.
Parties discussed importance of the full operationalization of the Association Agreement that denotes initiation of new stage of EU-Georgian relations.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Johannes Hahn discussed further steps of Georgia's political association and elaborated on prospects of deepening cooperation within the frames of renewed neighborhood policy of the EU. It was noted that Georgia continues successful implementation of the reforms envisaged in the process of European integration and retains leading positions among Eastern Partnership states.
Particular attention was paid to the progress achieved in view of reforms envisaged by the Visa Liberalization Action Plan. According to the Prime Minister, introduction of a visa free regime will be a logical continuation of the process of Georgia's European integration and this step is an important milestone in terms of implementation of Association Agreement. 
The conversation also touched upon initiative of European Commission on establishing European School of regional importance in Georgia. According to the Commissioner, the School will have clearly defined educational program and will enjoy international recognition (International Baccalaureate).
Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked European Commissioner for his active engagement in the association process of Georgia and demonstrated support.
The meeting in an extended format took place within the frames of 13th International Conference "Georgia's European Way" in Batumi.

Georgia has moved from the bracket of lower middle income economies-Kvirikashvili

Published in Economics
Thursday, 07 July 2016 15:30

Pursuant to the recent qualification elaborated by the World Bank, Georgia has moved from the bracket of lower middle income economies to the group of upper middle income countries, - Prime Minister of Georgia stated during the Cabinet Meeting. Pursuant to him, this is an important milestone that Georgia has been moving to during the last 15 years.
"Throughout last 15 years Georgia has not made an improvement in terms of this classification. This is important in view of our country's international investment image and raising awareness on Georgia", - Prime Minister stated.
Pursuant to the Prime Minister, the classification offered by the World Bank is based upon the amount of the gross national income per capita.

Prime Minister of Georgia held a meeting with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Published in Politics
Friday, 01 July 2016 15:47

The Council of Europe stands by your side, - President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Pedro Agramunt noted during his meeting with the Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
The conversation covered various issues including democratic reforms, cooperation with PACE, upcoming Parliamentary elections and regional developments.
According to the Prime Minister, Government of Georgia welcomes the first official visit of Pedro Agramunt in his capacity of the President of PACE. This indicates the deep and fruitful cooperation between Georgia and CoE.
Particular attention was paid to the democratic reforms in Georgia and preparations for 2016 Parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister indicated that the Government is committed to conduct the vest, democratic and free elections in the history of Georgia. Pursuant to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, invitation of the maximum number of international observers by the Government of Georgia serves to this particular purpose. 
Head of the Government of Georgia also discussed the complex reforms implemented by the Government since 2012 in the areas of human rights, rule of law, and freedom of media. He noted that leading positions of Georgia in international ratings indicate the progress achieved in this areas. 
The conversation also touched upon the regional developments and human rights condition in the occupied regions. In this context, parties to the meeting talked about murder of Giga Otkhozoria in the village of Khurcha and noted that the criminal shall be sanctioned.
PACE President reasserted his unwavering support to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.

PACE President to make official visit to Georgia

Published in World
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 19:51

Strasbourg, 29.06.2016 – Pedro Agramunt, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will make an official visit to Georgia on 30 June-1 July 2016, during which he is due to meet the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Georgian delegation to PACE.

Mr Agramunt will also participate in the 25th Annual Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, to be held in Tbilisi on the theme “25 years of parliamentary cooperation: building trust through dialogue”. In this context, he will address the Assembly at its Opening plenary session and will meet the OSCE PA President.

PACE President Pedro Agramunt and the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, David Usupashvili, will make a joint statement to the press on Friday 1 July at 6.15 pm, at the Exhibition Centre “Expo Georgia”, Akaki Tsereteli Ave. 118, Tbilisi (Hall 3, Speaker’s VIP Office).

Georgia is a country of rugby-Prime Minister

Published in Sport
Friday, 24 June 2016 15:23

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili attended opening of the 96th General Assembly of Rugby Europe. He addressed the participants of the event. Prime Minister expressed hope that the decisions adopted during the 96th General Assembly of Rugby Europe will contribute sufficiently to the development of rugby. In his speech Giorgi Kvirikashvili also elaborated on the steps taken to develop Georgian rugby and thanked Georgian rugby players for defending the name of Georgia.
"Rugby enjoys great state support in Georgia. Support and great patriotism demonstrated throughout years by the Rugby Union and private sector, considerable rugby infrastructure has been created in Georgia. I would like to particularly emphasize important contribution of "Kartu Fund" in construction of infrastructure.
Construction and rehabilitation of 16 stadiums and investment of 85 million GEL is an important precedent of public-private partnership. As it was noted by Mr. Octavian Morariu, Georgia has become a country of rugby. I would like to thank Georgian rugby players who managed to defend honor of Georgia in the hard circumstances on an international level.
I would like to mention last year's UN General Assembly in New York, when I clearly saw the great support on the part of the small rugby nations and everybody considered Georgia to be a country of rugby, "- the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also noted that Georgia will welcome 2017 under 20 Rugby World Cup. He also expressed hope that this important sporting event will be organized at the highest level.
"I am happy to note that we are hosting the 2017 under 20 Rugby World Cup and I express our readiness - organize this important sports event at the highest level. I confirm once again the utmost respect towards the managers and supporters of rugby, and the state will provide full support, "- Giorgi Kvirikashvili indicated.
At the end, the Prime Minister of congratulated Georgian rugby team on victory against Fiji team.
96th General Assembly of Rugby Europe is hosted by Tbilisi and is attended by the "the European Rugby" President Octavian Morariu and 75 delegates from various countries.

The European Court of Human Rights, will notify its decision on the case Merabishvili v. Georgia

Published in World
Friday, 10 June 2016 21:58

14 June, the European Court of Human Rights, will notify its decision on the case Merabishvili v. Georgia (no. 72508/13). The decision will be made public around 10h00 Strasbourg time on Tuesday. 

Background on the case: The case concerns the pre-trial detention of a former Prime Minister of Georgia. The applicant, Ivane Merabishvili, is a Georgian national who was born in 1968 and is currently detained in a prison in Tbilisi pending criminal proceedings against him for a number of offences including vote-buying and misappropriation of property. Prior to the parliamentary elections of October 2012, which resulted in a change of power, Mr Merabishvili, one of the leaders of the then ruling party, the United National Movement (UNM),

exercised, for several months in 2012, the function of Prime Minister of Georgia. After the political coalition Georgian Dream had won the parliamentary election of October 2012 and formed a new government, Mr Merabishvili was elected Secretary General of the UNM, which became the major opposition force in the country.

Mr Merabishvili was arrested on 21 May 2013 following the institution against him of three sets of criminal proceedings for using an allegedly fake passport, embezzlement and abuse of authority. On 22 May 2013 an initial court decision, based on Article 205 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, was taken remanding Mr Merabishvili in custody on the grounds that there was a risk that he might abscond or interfere with the investigation. This decision was confirmed on appeal on 25 May 2013.

Subsequently, during a pre-trial session on 25 September 2013, he asked for his pre-trial detention to be replaced by a non-custodial measure of restraint. This request was examined and rejected on the same day, without explanation, in a brief statement given by the trial court judge.

Mr Merabishvili was convicted in February 2014 of the majority of the charges against him, including vote-buying, misappropriation of property and breach of the inviolability of another person’s home and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. The charge of abuse of authority was dismissed.

Mr Merabishvili’s appeal on points of law is currently still pending before the Supreme Court. Four additional sets of criminal proceedings for various offences involving abuse of official authority when he was Minister of the Interior between 2005 and 2012, launched against him between May 2013 and July 2014, are also currently pending against him.

Relying on Article 5 §§ 1, 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security / entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial / right to have lawfulness of detention decided speedily by a court), Mr Merabishvili alleges that the decisions of 22 and 25 May 2013 ordering his pre-trial detention were based on unclear legal rules – notably in that they did not give a specific time-limit for his detention – and lacked reasonable grounds and that the courts failed to carry out a proper judicial review of his request for release in its decision of 25 September 2013.

Further relying on Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) taken in conjunction with Article 5 § 1, he alleges that the initiation of criminal proceedings against him and his arrest were used by the authorities to exclude him from the political life of the country, resulting in the weakening of his party, UNM, and preventing him from standing as a candidate in the presidential election of October 2013. He further alleges that this persecution continued during his pre-trial detention when, on 14 December 2013, he was removed from his cell and taken for a late-night meeting with the Chief Public Prosecutor who threatened him in order to obtain information about the death of the former Prime Minister, Zurab Zhvania, and about secret offshore bank accounts of the former President of Georgia. He further claims that, despite informing the authorities of this incident at the first opportunity at a hearing on his case on 17 December 2013, calling upon them to examine video footage from the prison surveillance cameras, no objective or thorough criminal investigation was ever launched into his allegations. Lastly, he emphasises that the international community has expressed concerns over the initiation of criminal proceedings against the leaders of the opposition party, including himself.

Statement of the Prime Minister with regard to the letter of Bidzina Ivanishvili

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 31 May 2016 17:30

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili assessed Bidzina Ivanishvili's open letter to the Georgian people as very thought-provoking document providing coherent analysis of past as well as current condition and the dynamics of the previous years.
Pursuant to the head of the government, the overriding idea of the article that can be grasped by the reader is that trajectory of Georgia is completely correct and the result achieved throughout past years is crucial.
"Undoubtedly we will not be able to significantly improve lives of Georgian citizens in 3 or 4 years. Nonetheless,4 years ago, when we just came into power, each of the accomplishments listed in the letter was something to merely dream of. Therefore, such kind of letter is necessary for each of us. It carried sizable momentum for me personally and I consider that such kind of support is crucial for our teammates," - Prime Minister stated.
As for the extract of the letter concerning the National Movement, Prime Minister stated that the Georgian people took relevant decision 4 years ago.
"I consider that this choice will be irreversible", - Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted.

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