Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Congratulates Irakli Garibashvili on the Day of Independence of GeorgiaFriday, 27 May 2022 15:22
Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan congratulated Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia on the Day of Independence of Georgia today.
As noted in the congratulatory letter, Azerbaijan and Georgia have historically established a strong friendship and kind neighborly relations and current cooperation, which will serve to the development of interaction between Azerbaijan and Georgia.
"Allow me to congratulate you on the national holiday of the country - Day of Independence of Georgia - and convey my best wishes.
Azerbaijan and Georgia are connected with a strong friendship and kind neighborly relations that were historically established between our nations. Currently, high level interaction between our countries is based on the kind will of our people who are loyal to these great traditions.
I believe that our strategic partnership, jointly implemented wide-scale projects and cooperation, which is expanding day after day, will serve to the development of relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia and prosperity of our people in future as well.
It brings me pleasure to recall meetings and honest discussions with you. I am confident that decisions made within the scope of Intergovernmental Commissions and implementation of reached agreements will facilitate a further strengthening of our bilateral relations.
On this outstanding day I want to wish you a sound health and success in your work, while everlasting peace and prosperity to the friendly people of Georgia" reads the congratulatory letter.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Together, we must ensure the consolidation of our statehood and independence - says the prime minister of GeorgiaWednesday, 24 February 2021 13:19
The Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili made a statement, which we propose without change:
"My dear compatriots, We all have a homeland in common; we are the children of one country.
Georgia is facing challenges of the utmost importance today. The pandemic has further complicated the already difficult economic and social situation of our country and our people. We are also facing significant geopolitical challenges, as well as foreign policy goals.
We must all unite around these goals and challenges, regardless of our political beliefs and views.
One hundred years after the loss of the independence of the First Republic of Georgia and the Sovietization of Georgia, we must once again remember that the state and its independence are the greatest achievements for every one of us. Our statehood is also a necessary condition for Georgia's Western integration. Therefore, protecting the state and its laws is a duty and a responsibility shared by each and every one of us.
Yesterday, I presented the future vision of the government in the Parliament of Georgia. However, against the backdrop of a deliberate, insulting campaign against law enforcement officials - the hero police officers - I mainly had to talk about the destructive actions of the opposition, in addition to our common goals and challenges.
Today, the Ministry of Internal Affairs enforced a law, which was a necessary condition for the reduction of radicalism in politics and the establishment of fair relations.
The people's reaction to the enforcement of the law has confirmed that the rule of law is the main priority for the Georgian public. However, we are not counting the number of people gathered for the demonstration. Every citizen of our country is precious to us.
Today, now that the law has been enforced and the state has taken its due place, I would like to call on all political forces who hold the country dear to open a real and earnest dialogue and to talk not about what divides us, but about what must unite us.
Against the backdrop of the challenges facing the country, it is time for dialogue, not confrontation. I propose that all reasonable opposition forces enter Parliament, so that we may use the country's legislature as the main platform for discussion. As I mentioned yesterday, we are ready for real dialogue at any time and in any format.
Together, we must ensure the consolidation of our statehood and independence, the further strengthening of the democratic system, the overcoming of social and economic problems, and Georgia's integration into the European Union and NATO.
Our country has no time to lose.
Today is not the time for division - it is the time for unification.
May God be our protector!", - says the prime minister of Georgia.
I would like to congratulate you on Turkmenistan Independence Day, which is first time observed on September 27! Independence is a solid foundation of the state sovereignty, unity and solidarity of the nation, - the message of the Head of the State to the nation says.
New history of the Motherland, all our success and achievements have begun from the independence. That is why we are proud to celebration this day as national holiday reflecting creative spirit of the epoch and inspiring for achievement of high target.
The way we chose is a way of creation, which we take our country to high levels. We successfully implement large-scale programmes and social and economic, scientific and educational, social and political reforms aimed at prosperity of the country. industrial facilities, social and cultural objects, modern living, settlements and villages are built in all regions of the country under the Programme of the President.
Our integrated reforms consolidate the bases of sovereignty, provide steadfast, multilateral and dynamic development of the economy, support fundamental improvement of social protection of the populations, - the message mentions.
We restore the Great Silk Road in the third millennium laying new motor roads and railway, building seaports and transnational gas lines uniting the nations by the contacts in cultural, scientific, educational and sport spheres. In this context, such big projects as construction of Turkmenbashy International Seaport, Turkmenabat International Airport have been accomplished, the construction of afghan part of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India gas pipeline, Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan power and fibre optic line has been launched. We opened Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad. Cycling races, track and field competitions and Amul – Hazar 2018 International Rally have been successfully conducted along the roads of the Great Silk Route.
In addition, we out into operation the first combined cycle power station on the territory of Mary State Power Station, new petrochemical complex in Garabogaz, Ahal Velayat and other big facilities.
Our independent state acts in international relations under legal status of permanent neutrality for 23 years. Turkmenistan makes connection with the states and nations of the world based on the principles of friendship and good neighbourliness, which meet national interests and foreign course of the state. Independent Turkmenistan consolidates the efforts of the countries, international and regional organizations in improvement of peace and harmony of the planet, develops the relations based on mutual understanding and trust.
Such important facts as the selection of our neutral state as the member of the Bureau of the Internal Transport Committee of the United Nations European Economic Commission as well as the member of the Economic and Social Council for 2019 – 2021 have entered the chronicle of 2018. The Resolutions on support of international efforts for stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan and on Cooperation between the United Nations Organization and International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea have been adopted by the initiative of Turkmenistan. The World Bicycle Day will be observed annually on June 3 by our initiative as well. All these remarkable events became undisputable evidence of steadfast growth of international authority of neutral Turkmenistan, - the message of the President highlights.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
Every year on 3 May, the world marks Press Freedom Day. It’s a day on which we are reminded of the role of free media as a cornerstone of democracy, of the importance of media pluralism, of the significance of objective, quality, ethical journalism in informing citizens and defending their interests, holding the powerful to account.
We hear a lot about independence, but less about what independence really means. We think of independent opinion, of the journalists who investigate, who often face the most direct threats, but far less of the media managers in the offices behind them, ensuring that their stories can go to air or print, that wages and suppliers can be paid.
It’s an issue of which the European Union is acutely aware. “The threats to free journalism are complex,”European Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn told an Eastern Partnership media conference last September: “Vested interests and concentration of media ownership often make it difficult for independent media to survive,” he added, highlighting the vital importance of “looking for ways to achieve economic sustainability of the media”.
“There is a lot of support for content, for journalism, but local media need more help to become sustainable,”confirms Veselin Vačkov, director of the oldest and most prestigious Czech daily newspaper Lidové noviny, who has been working with the EU-funded OPEN Media Hub project, leading a series of media management workshops and master classes in Eastern Partnership countries, focused on increased organisational and financial management skills, and ways to maximise revenues from print and online.
Vačkov says the media he has worked with in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine are aware of media ethics, and work very hard to be balanced and to produce quality work, “even by Western standards”.
“But if you are dependent on state support, on the support of a local entrepreneur or oligarch, even on EU money, you soon find out that you are not entirely free.”
Financial pressure can be far more effective than overt political pressure in strangling independent media, says Artur Corghencea, news director at PRO TV in Chisinau – a leading independent media in the Republic of Moldova. “Financial independence is synonymous with editorial independence – the Moldovan authorities have understood this and are trying to make it difficult for independent media to survive,” he said.
Last year, the authorities introduced new rules obliging television channels to produce at least eight hours of local programming a day, six of them during prime time. “Beside the fact that this is an unbearable financial burden for most stations, including PRO TV Chisinau,” this meant television stations were not allowed to broadcast high-rating foreign programmes at prime-time, such as football or Holywood movies – “and these are the programmes that attract advertising and therefore money,” said Corghencea.
PRO TV has managed to step back from the brink with the help of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), a foundation supported by the European Union, that provides grants to organisations promoting democracy and human rights. EED funding has helped PRO TV to develop four new shows, including ‘In PROfunzime’ a weekly political talk show that has become one of the most popular programmes in Moldova, as well as popular entertainment shows.
“Thanks to EED support, we have been able to meet the quota of locally-made production”, but also to build a more sustainable base for the future, says Corghencea. “Because the shows are popular and have high ratings, we are convinced that we will gain advertising in the future with these programmes, despite the difficult circumstances.”
EED support also helped PRO TV to build production teams and in-house capacity for the programmes. “These teams now have the experience to continue producing the shows and to initiate new TV projects in the future,” said Corghencea.
But financial pressures are not only political. In fact, most of the challenges facing media in the Eastern Partner countries are very similar to those that have swept the media landscape in Western European countries in recent years, says Veselin Vačkov. Among them, he lists the loss of circulation in the print media, compounded by the economic crisis, the transition from print to digital and the difficulties of raising revenue online, the need to invest in new technology, as well as the squeeze in advertising revenue.
His media management training – which is also available as an online course – addresses all these issues and more. “We have had a very positive feedback,” says Vačkov. “Participants are really glad to have this support for a much healthier future.”
Operating a successful media business in a small market is a challenge in itself, according to Lyudmila Chekina, CEO at TUT.BY, the leading online news portal in Belarus, employing more than 50 editorial staff and read by 42.9% of all Belarusian internet users.
“A successful financial model enables an independent media outlet to survive,” she says. “Increased profitability also enables an outlet to be independent of large corporate advertisers.”
Though the company had grown from a start-up in 2000 to a major digital media player, its dependence on the brand advertising market in Belarus and increasing online competition, including from foreign players, meant TUT.BY needed to develop its organisational structure and introduce better operational processes to stay ahead of the game.
To do so, it turned to the EU-funded Advice for Small Businesses programme, implemented by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which connected TUT.BY with a team of international business consultants. “The project helped the company improve significantly its operational performance, provided advice on its video sector development and budgeting, as well as enabled it to make some strategic decisions that changed its structure,” said Chekina.
As a result, earnings are up 20%. “For sure, the improved earning capacity has gradually increased the editorial budget and the number of employed journalists,” she says, adding: “Our earning capacity helps us to preserve our independence.”
Lyudmila Chekina is confident looking forward, but conscious of the need to diversify for growth: “In small countries, the limited market is a key problem for the media operating based on an advertising model. Therefore, we believe that the development of content projects with the possibility to expand into large markets and media cooperation with leading service companies in other markets… are the most forward-looking and efficient strategies.”
On World Press Freedom Day, it’s a reminder that independent media needs a sustainable business model to keep the stories coming out.
“Running a media is not only writing articles,” Veselin Vačkov reminds participants in his media management workshops. “Sustainability is more of a challenge than quality. And the more the media is economically successful, the freer we are as journalists.”
Author: Kosta St. Pavlowitch (former BBC journalist, contributor to Radio France Internationale and Editor in Chief of the Cyprus Mail newspaper)
OPEN Media Hub
The OPEN Media Hub is an EU-funded project supporting media professionals across the EU Neighbourhood area. A total of 753 people have benefited from the project’s media management actions across the Neighbourhood region, including 244 individual media managers, with follow-up in-house management consultations for selected independent media. The Media Hub’s four online courses – which are open to everyone and also available in Russian – have been followed by 350 users, with 148 taking the course on media management. www.openmediahub.com www.openmediahub.com/e-learning
European Endowment for Democracy
The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) is an independent grant-giving organisation that supports actors of democratic change in the European Neighbourhood and beyond. It is a joint initiative of EU member states and institutions, and receives EU funding to cover its operating costs. The EED assists pro-democratic civil society organisations, movements and individual activists acting in favour of a pluralistic multiparty system regardless of their size or formal status, as well as independent media and journalists. Support to independent media is a key area of EED work in the EU neighbourhood. www.democracyendowment.eu
The US President supports the independence, sovereignty and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Georgia. This statement was made by the US Secretary of State John Kerry at the joint press conference with Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
“This is my second visit to Georgia and the first visit as the US Secretary in State. I tasted your traditional Khachapuri and Georgian wine when I was here. I am surprised that I had not arrived in Georgia before. Georgia is wonderful democratic country with the difficult neighborhood. The massage of President Obama is that he supports the independence, sovereignty, security and Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Georgia. The cooperation between us is deeper now and this is bilateral process,”- John Kerry said.