The meeting with the delegation of Political Office of Taliban movement was held in the MFA of Turkmenistan

Published in World
Sunday, 07 February 2021 12:52

February 6, 2021 the leadership of Turkmen foreign ministry met with the delegation of Political Office of Taliban movement headed by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in the MFA of Turkmenistan.

During constructive negotiations, the parties have underlined the importance of establishing and maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan.

In this regard, it has been noted that Turkmenistan has given significant support for Afghan people, contributed to the development of Afghan economy, primarily strategically important fields such as energy, transport, connectivity and communications.

The significant projects in the aforementioned fields are “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India” pipeline, high voltage electric power transmission line, fiber-optic connection along “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan” route, as well as railways connecting Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

The delegation of Political Office of Taliban movement expressed full support to the implementation of above-mentioned infrastructure projects aimed at ensuring well-being and prosperity for Afghan people.

The representatives of Afghan delegation made a statement to the press and answered questions from journalists after the negotiations.

Further, full text of press statement by thedelegation of Political Office of Taliban movement is published

«Dear Mass Media Representatives!

First of all, let me welcome you today at the press conference and introduce myself. My name is Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, I am member of the Political Office and Negotiations Team of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

On behalf of the IEA Political Office, I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkmen side for the invitation to visit Turkmenistan and for warm hospitality.

Yesterday, as part of our visit, we visited two mosques and acquainted with the ancient religious sites and cultural traditions of the Turkmen people.

Today, here, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, we held talks in an open and friendly atmosphere with His Excellency Rashid Meredov, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan and Deuty Prime Minister and his delegation, during which we gave a positive assessment of the policy of neutral Turkmenistan towards Afghanistan and the long-term political and economic support to Afghanistan that neighboring Turkmenistan is providing, provided and will provide.

Turkmenistan, as a Muslim, neighboring, neutral state, has been taking initiatives for a number of years aimed at establishing peace and development in Afghanistan.

The implementation of infrastructure projects in Afghanistan initiated by Turkmenistan deserves special attention and assessment. There is no doubt that the early start of construction of projects such as TAPI, TAP and railways from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan will contribute to the achievement of prosperity and economic development in Afghanistan. On the one hand, while we are struggling to gain independence of our country, meanwhile, we are trying to contribute to prosperity of our people and development of our country by providing protection to all national projects in the country.

In this regard, as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, we declare our full support for the implementation and security of TAPI and other developmental projects in our country.


Published in World
Monday, 11 January 2021 16:03

On January 9, 2021, Political consultations between Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs were held in Kabul.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Hanif Atmar expressed their positions on key aspects of bilateral agenda.  

The parties underlined the effectiveness of dialogue between the Heads of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan that contributes to successful promotion of political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian relations.  

The parties have signed the Program of Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for 2021-2022 upon the results of the consultations. 

The sixth session of Joint Turkmen-Afghan Commission on cooperation in the field of security was also held on the same day. 

During the session, parties constructively exchanged views related to strengthening partnership in the field of countering present threats and challenges, including terrorism, extremism, cyberattacks and others. The readiness of two states to strengthen border cooperation and maintain information security is expressed.

The Protocol of the Sixth Session of Joint Turkmen-Afghan Commission on Cooperation in the Field of Security was adopted upon the results of the meeting.

New foreign political success of Turkmenistan

Published in World
Saturday, 27 June 2020 15:04

Final Joint Declaration of International Forum dedicated to financing of realization of the Sustainable Development Goals held by initiative of Turkmenistan and under the UN sponsorship on May 28, 2020 was adopted as a document of the 74th session of the United Nation General Assembly. This document was published in six official languages of the UN and distributed among country members of the United Nations.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was informed on this during the session of the Government on June 26 by vice-premier, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov.

The Head of the Foreign Ministry congratulated the Head of the State on this foreign political victory, which has become another evidence of the input of Turkmenistan to provision of global peace, prosperity and progress by the world community.

In this regard, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that we see this event as an evidence of growing authority of the country in the world arena as well as another confirmation of high efficiency of foreign course of Turkmenistan, which is based on the principles of permanent neutrality.

Adoption of this document in the year of the 25th anniversary of neutrality of the country, which has been recognized two times by the United Nations and set in its main multilateral documents, is very important. Speaking of this, the President highlighted high level of strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and the UN.

Having congratulated Turkmen people and all participants of the session on this important foreign political event, Turkmen leader confirmed the commitment of our country to the course on further strengthening and expansion of comprehensive cooperation with the UN.


 The state news agency of Turkmenistan 

Angela Merkel's visit to Georgia points to how high Georgia is on the German political agenda – David Zalkaliani

Published in Politics
Thursday, 23 August 2018 14:00

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's second visit to Georgia in 10 years points to how high Georgia is on the German political agenda.
“It is important that Georgia hosts a visit from such an important EU Member State, against the background of the challenges facing our country today. This visit is yet another proof of support for the Georgian government’s reforms, foreign policy course, European ad Euro-Atlantic integration and peace policy” - the Minister said.
According to David Zalkaliani, during the meetings with Angela Merkel, discussions will focus on bilateral relations, as well as co-operation in multilateral formats.
“It is necessary to ensure that the level of Georgia’s economic co-operation with Germany is in line with cooperative processes in defence and foreign dimensions. The fact that the visit is regional and Georgia is involved in a number of important infrastructural projects currently ongoing in the region once again indicates that Georgia is high on the German political agenda.

Integration of ethnic Azeris starts with language: challenges in economic integration, access to public services, media and political participation

Published in Society
Sunday, 25 March 2018 13:04

The Constitution of Georgia stipulates that the state language of Georgia is Georgian. The status of the official language creates grounds for, on the one hand, the social isolation and exclusion from economic and political spheres of people who do not speak Georgian and, on the other hand, the banning on the use of a minority language in administrative domains.

79 year old Nargila Hamidova, a resident of Sadakhlo village of Marneuli district says that the linguistic barrier has made them feel isolated from Tbilisi and they have little interaction with the majority Georgian populations: “Our social and economic links are overwhelmingly to Azerbaijan. Trade is done in Azeri or Russian, rarely in Georgian. We feel alienated and isolated from the rest of the country that we reside in. Although we are the citizens of Georgia and said to have equal rights as citizens, the lack of the knowledge of the state language has formed us into secondary citizens, in fact”.

In Kvemo Kartli, Azeri is predominantly spoken. Even though the region is close to Tbilisi, ethnic Azeris maintain less economic and social ties with Georgia than they do with their kin state. Linguistic isolation makes these ties ever closer.

According to head of Borchali Public Union Zalimkhan Mammadli, if this situation continues, minorities risk soon being unable to communicate with the rest of the population and suffering harder economic and social marginalization. “The state should implement programs to maintain dialogue between ethnic Azeris and majority Georgians and further promote flexible Georgian language trainings in the regions densely populated by minorities to encourage their social and economic mobility, which will subsequently contribute to balanced socio-economic development throughout the country.” 

The language of administrative proceedings shall be Georgian, in accordance with the applicable Law of General Administrative Code of Georgia. As all communication and correspondence are conducted in Georgian, ethnic Azeris who do not speak Georgian struggle to access public services. 24 year old Tajir Jalilov, a native of Iormughanlo village of Sagarejo district says: “Azeri language may be spoken when accessing public services in our village. However, no multilingual public services are officially provided. Because all official documentation and correspondence have to be submitted in Georgian, there is no guarantee that we can access those services in or mother tongue”.

As reported by the Community Center of Iormughanlo village, Azeri minorities need to acquire official documents, submit official complaints only in Georgian. Applications submitted in languages other than Georgian are not reviewed. An official of the community center said that if non-Georgian speaking citizens want their concerns represented at the community or higher level, they have to use translation services at their own expense. Legislation is only published in Georgian and not available in minority languages, added the official of the community center.

Ethnic Azeris of Georgia also face difficulties accessing information in the Georgian media because of the language barrier, the phenomenon which can only accentuate the isolation and alienation felt by these communities in the Georgian society. According to Musa Musayev, a 62 year old native of Sadakhlo village of Marneuli district, on account of the information vacuum, even sometimes they are becoming vulnerable group for hostile propaganda: “As little information from the Georgian media is available in languages understood by us, we often rely on foreign news sources for information, such as Azerbaijani or Turkish media. As a result of the information vacuum, the information is late to reach, sometimes even in a marred form. Some foreign, including Russian channels also accessible through satellite, but the programmes they broadcast are highly politicized and biased against Georgia.

The media is referred as the forth branch of a government and people may very well be affected by hostile media. Therefore, according to head of Borchali Public Union Zalimkhan Mammadli, the people need to be better and duly informed about the life of the state if they are to be expected to integrate into mainstream Georgian culture. Zalimkhan Mammadli says that considering the low level of knowledge of the state language and significant number of ethnic Azeri population living in Georgia, at least it is advisable to broadcast special media coverage with simple texts in easy Georgian read at a slower speed, along with ensuring media pluralism: “This would not only ensure to keep abreast of the ongoing developments, but also benefit the learning of the state language and encourage the non-Georgian population to practice understanding and speaking basic Georgian”

Regarding this issue, Alibala Asgarov, who heads the NGO Geyrat, mentions that it is important to encourage the production of programs with translated subtitles and dubbing in the minority languages.

Ethnic Azeris political participation and representation – a key to more effective integration – is disturbingly low. In the 150-member Georgian Parliament there are only 4 Azeri representatives. Very few government officials at higher levels are of Azeri origin. This reflects the general situation in Georgia, where all decision-making positions are held by ethnic Georgians. The predominantly Azeri populated Kvemo-Kartli region has never had an ethnic Azeri governor. Only the deputy governor is ethnic Azeri. Azeris are also significantly underrepresented in local government. In Marneuli the mayor, in Gardabanai, Dmanisi, Bolnisi the deputy mayor are Azeris. This is mainly due to the fact that the government relies on only ethnic Georgians run local affairs and partly because of the insufficient knowledge of Georgian by ethnic Azeris. According to the Report on the Situation of the Protection of the Human Rights and Freedoms in Georgia in 2017 released by the Public Defender of Georgia, ethnic Azeris tend to be better represented only in local councils at town and village level in the regions they densely populate. 

Member of the Georgian parliament Azer Suleimanovi stresses that active involvement of ethnic Azeris in the political life of the country largely depends on the government’s efforts to encourage them to start working in the public service. According to Azer Suleimanovi inability to speak the state language was ethnic Azeris’ biggest problem in the 1990s and there are currently significant number of highly-educated ethnic Azerbaijanis with fluent Georgian, who are even well-suited to hold senior posts at the government and politics. “Lack of Georgian among the newer generation of ethnic Azeris is no more than an illusion intentionally contrived to put artificial barriers to ethnic Azeris. It is because of the current state program and the government policy that the ethnic Azeris are subjected to failure to hold civil service posts and excluded from political participation. We have always raised this issue before all levels of government, but not any action is taken.”

As reported by the Public Relations and Communications Department of the Administration of the President of Georgia, the government of Georgia has always emphasized high importance of ethnic minorities to Georgia’s political and social development: “Various projects, “Learn Georgian” that has been held for almost three years being one of them, are being implemented within the framework of Presidential Reserve Fund to support the integration of ethnic minorities, including ethnic Azerbaijanis, and encourage their participation in political and social life of Georgia.”

The opinion of interviewees and experts make it clear that ethnic Azerbaijanis of Georgia should have the right to an identity, and the right to participate in the social, economic and political life of Georgia. This implies, first of all, the need to promote the official language of Georgia. At the same time, the right of ethnic Azeris to use and develop their native language should not be undermined as it should be recognized as part of the linguistic and cultural heritage of Georgia. It is also undeniable proof that strong integration of ethnic minorities into the whole society of a country would prevent a possible outbreak of any interethnic tension and conflict.

This article was prepared within the framework of the project implemented by the Human Rights House Tbilisi and cofunded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and National Endowment for Democracy. The article does not express opinions of Human Rights House Tbilisi or the donors. The views expressed herein are those of the author only.

Source link of the article

By Ramil Huseynov


EuroNest PA Committee meeting

Published in Politics
Friday, 24 March 2017 12:30

The Parliamentary Delegation, headed by the Chair of the EU Integration Committee, Tamar Khulordava participated in the joint meeting of the EuroNest PA Political and Social Committees.
The Deputy Chair of EU Integration Committee, Beka Natsvlishvili was elected as the Vice Co-Chair of the EuroNest PA Social Committee. T. Khulordava hailed the EuroNest PA activity and underlined importance of cooperation of EP and partner Parliaments. The Committees considered the report on state of women on labor markets in Eastern Europe.
Georgian MP, Guguli Magradze noted that enhancement of gender equality requires intensive involvement of women in economic activity. B. Natsvlishvili spoke about necessity of structural transformation of economy in view of realization of rights of women and elimination of inequality.
The Committees discussed freedom of media in EU and EaP. Georgian MPs, Sergi Kapanadze and Salome Samadashvili emphasized Rustavi2 developments.
T. Khulordava spoke about priorities of Georgian Government in terms of freedom and pluralism of media. She introduced the achievements and tasks of democratic reforms and noted that they serve for ultimate goal – EU membership of the country. Politicizing media-related issues will not improve the process. She called on her colleagues to abstain from involvement in consideration of particular dispute. The engaged experts when speaking about freedom of media in the region noted that in terms of media freedom and pluralism, Georgia occupies the leading position. The delegates discussed the EaP upcoming Summit.
The meeting along with T. Khulordava was also attended by Georgian MPs, Dimitri Tskitishvili, Beka Natsvlishvili, Guguli Magradze, Sergi Kapanadze and Salome Samadashvili.



Bilateral political consultations between the Georgian and French Foreign Ministries

Published in Politics
Friday, 16 December 2016 12:15

The Georgian Foreign Ministry hosted bilateral political consultations between the Georgian and French Foreign Ministries. Consultations from the Georgian side were led by Deputy Foreign Minister Vakhtang Makharoblishvili and from the French side – by the Director at the Directorate of European Cooperation at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Development, Florence Mangin.
Discussions during the meeting focused on a broad spectrum of bilateral, as well as multilateral co-operation. Special attention was paid to the need to deepen political and economic relations between the two countries as well as to the importance of opening the South Caucasus Office of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Tbilisi, as well as of close co-operation with the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF). Talking points also included prospects for the further development of relations in the areas of defence, culture tourism and education.
Special mention was made of the necessity of introducing direct flights between Georgia and France.
While on the theme of the European Union, the Georgian Deputy Minister said that the effective implementation of the Association Agreement including DCFTA, as well as the visa liberalization process will contribute to deepening cooperation between Georgia and the EU, in particular in terms of people-to-people contacts.
Vakhtang Makharoblishvili spoke about the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, creeping annexation, human rights violations, the so-called treaties with the occupation regimes and the importance of the international community’s strong support.
For its part, the French delegation reaffirmed France’s support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as for its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The sides also discussed important regional and global issues on the international agenda.

The fifth round of political consultations has been held between the Georgian and Korean Foreign Ministries

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 10:15

The Georgian and Korean Foreign Ministries held the fifth round of political consultations. The Korean delegation was headed by Soosuk Lim, the Director-general of the European Affairs Bureau, while Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalagania led the Georgian delegation.   
Discussions focused on a wide range of the existing bilateral and multilateral relations between Georgia and Korea. The two delegations gave a positive assessment to the recent active partnership both at the level of the Governments and public sector. It was underlined that the meeting between the Georgian and Korean Foreign Ministers, held in September, in frames of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, was a demonstration of the friendly relations existing between the two countries.
Talking points also included the Korean business community’s increasing interest in Georgia’s investment environment. The two sides expressed their readiness to make use of the potential existing in the sphere of bilateral economic co-operation, to enhance cultural relations and deepen people-to-people contacts given the sharp growth of the tourists’ flows.   
The two sides expressed their readiness to co-operate actively to celebrate the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Georgia and the Republic of Korea in 2017 appropriately, as well as to exchange high-level visits and to schedule the activities in the sphere culture.
Discussions also focused on the fruitful co-operation in the international organisations, on the current situation and security environment on South Caucasus and Korean peninsula, particularly, on Resolution 2321 (30 November 2016) by the UN Security Council on nuclear tests. The Korean delegation reaffirmed its support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
 In conclusion, the two sides agreed to hold the sixth round of the political consultations in Seoul.

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