Georgians remember 20 January tragedy in Azerbaijan

Published in Society
Monday, 20 January 2020 20:30

Three decades have passed since the 20 January tragedy in Baku, known as Black January.

People in Marneuli Municipality also remembered the Black January developments in Baku. The event attended by representatives of the Embassy of Azerbaijan and members of different organizations was conducted under the aegis of the Azerbaijan Center in Georgia.

A video collage of the 20 January tragedy developments was presented at the event, and later floral tributes were placed at the cemetery of Vapadar Eminov, who participated in both 20 January and 9 April events.

Today, Azerbaijanis commemorated the 30th anniversary of Black January, a bloody crackdown by Soviet troops on Azerbaijani activists. 

On 20 January 1990, the Soviet Union army raided peaceful Azerbaijani protesters, killing 131 people, wounding and injuring 744 and incarcerating at least 400. Black January is considered the day of the birth of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 


A source:

On January 10, 2020, the meeting of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to Georgia Mr. D. Muratov with the President of Georgia Her Excellency Mrs. S. Zourabichvili was held at the “Orbeliani” Presidential Palace.

In the beginning of the meeting, the Ambassador conveyed the invitation letter of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov addressed to the President of Georgia and inviting her to participate to the International Conference «Policy of Neutrality and its importance in ensuring international peace, security and sustainable development», dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Neutrality, which will be held on December 11-12, 2020 in Ashgabat.

During the conversation, the parties noted the vital role of the policy of permanent Neutrality implemented under the leadership of the President of Turkmenistan and aimed at ensuring peace, international security and sustainable development.

The bilateral relations in political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres were also discussed.

Six best Georgian sportsmen of 2019 are all World Champions

Published in Sport
Sunday, 19 January 2020 13:40

The Georgian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports revealed the best sportsmen of 2019. The awarding ceremony of the best sportspersons was held at the State Ceremonies Palace. For the first time in the history of the Georgian sports, all the six best sportsmen of the year are World Champions.

Georgian sportsmen won more than 1200 medals in 2019. The best sportspersons were also revealed in 11 different nominations and nine special prizes were awarded.

The six Georgian World Champions are Lukhum Chkhvimiani, Lasha Talakhadze, Geno Petriashvili, Beka Lomtadze, Nugzar Tsurtsumia and Lasha Gobadze.

The title of best team of 2019 went to Water Polo National Team;

Best Veteran Sportsman – Nona Gaprindashvili;

Best young sportsmen – Lasha Bekauri;

Best region of 2019 – Adjara;

Best sportsman in non-Olympic kind of sports – Vakhtang Chidrashvili;

Best Referee of 2019 – Rusudan Khoperia;

Best team in individual kind of sports – Georgian National Team in Greek-Roman style of Wrestling;

Best Federation of 2019 –National Wrestling Federation;

Best Female Sportsman – Eter Liparteliani;

Best Sports Volunteer – Tatia Darsavelidze;

Best Para-Sportsman – Irma Khetsuriani and Revaz Chikoidze;

Discovery of 2019 – Maia Bochoridze and Ana Lapiashvili;

Best Trainer – Giorgi Iantbelidze;

Best Legioner – Giorgi Shermadini;

Best event in the history of Georgian Olympics – Nino Salukvadze.

The Georgian First Channel provided the live transmission of the awarding ceremony.


A source:


17 января 2020 года Посольство Туркменистана в Грузии провело брифинг, посвященный 25-летию Постоянного Нейтралитета Туркменистана.

На брифинге присутствовали представители «TV-24», издательской группы «Georgian Business Consulting Group», информационного агентства «News Day Georgia», газет «Резонанс», «Многонациональная Грузия», «Свободная Грузия» и другие представители СМИ Грузии.

В своем выступлении Посол Туркменистана Довлет Муратов отметил, что правовой статус нейтралитета представляет собой высшее проявление исконных миролюбивых традиций туркменского народа и, безусловно, считается феноменом в системе международного права. Принятие 12 декабря 1995 года при единодушной поддержке 185 стран-членов ООН специальной резолюции «Постоянный Нейтралитет Туркменистана» стало важным событием в мировой политике. Повторное принятие данной резолюции 3 июня 2015 года, а также принятие в феврале 2017 года Генассамблей ООН Резолюции об объявлении 12 декабря Международным днем нейтралитета красноречиво свидетельствует о значимости нейтралитета в современных условиях. Нейтралитет рассматривается Президентом Гурбангулы Бердымухамедовым в качестве механизма сочетания геополитических интересов, важного фактора обеспечения региональной стабильности, установления цивилизационного диалога на конструктивной основе.

Участники брифинга также были проинформированы о том, что 2020 год объявлен в Туркменистане Годом «Туркменистан - родина Нейтралитета».

В ходе брифинга представители СМИ Грузии отметили огромную важность успешно прошедшей 14 января 2020 года в Ашхабаде, при участии Президента Туркменистана, международной конференции «Туркменистан и международные организации: сотрудничество во имя мира и развития», посвященной 25-летию постоянного Нейтралитета Туркменистана.

Представители СМИ Грузии выразили благодарность Посольству Туркменистана в Грузии за организацию и проведение брифинга и поздравили народ Туркменистан с юбилейной датой. В конце мероприятия гостям были предложены угощения, в том числе туркменские национальные блюда.

On January 17, 2020, Embassy of Turkmenistan in Georgia held the briefing dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan.

The briefing was attended by the representatives of «TV-24», publishing group «Georgian Business Consulting Group», news agency «News Day Georgia», newspapers of «Resonance», «Multinational Georgia», «Free Georgia» and other representatives of Georgian media.

Ambassador of Turkmenistan in Georgia Mr. Dovlet Muratov noted in his speech that legal status of neutrality is the highest expression of primordial peace-loving traditions of Turkmen nation and undoubtedly, is a phenomenon in the system of international law. Adoption of Special Resolution on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan with unanimous support of 185 member countries of the UN on December 12, 1995, has become an important event in the world politics. Repeat adoption of this Resolution on June 3, 2015, as well as adoption of the Resolution by the UN General Assembly on declaration of December 12 as International Neutrality Day eloquently testifies to the importance of neutrality in modern conditions. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov considers neutrality as a mechanism for combining geopolitical interests, an important factor in ensuring regional stability and establishing a civilized dialogue on constructive bases.

The participants of briefing were informed that in Turkmenistan 2020 was declared as a year of «Turkmenistan - Home of Neutrality».

During the briefing, Georgian media representatives noted the great importance of the international conference «Turkmenistan and International Organizations: Cooperation for Peace and Development», successfully held on January 14, 2020 in Ashgabat, with the participation of the President of Turkmenistan, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Turkmenistan's permanent neutrality.

Representatives of the Georgian media expressed their gratitude to the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Georgia for organizing and conducting the briefing and congratulated Turkmen people on the jubilee date. At the end of the event, guests were offered treats including Turkmen national dishes.

New U.S. Ambassador to Georgia sworn in

Published in Politics
Friday, 17 January 2020 13:25

Kelly Degnan was sworn in as new U.S. Ambassador to Georgia at the U.S. Department of State.

David Hale, the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs attended the oath-taking ceremony.

The White House presented the candidacy of Kelly Degnan for post of U.S. Ambassador to Georgia in September of 2019. The Senate approved Degnan’s candidacy in December.

Degnan previously served as a political adviser to the commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa. A native of California, Degnan’s career has spanned 25 years and has included senior diplomatic postings to Italy, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Turkey.

Degnan also served as the deputy executive secretary of the State Department, political counsellor at the U.S. mission to NATO, and special assistant to the secretary of state. Degnan speaks Italian, French, Turkish, and Urdu.

Elizabeth Rood has served as acting ambassador to Georgia since Ambassador Ian Kelly departed in March 2018.

Consumers embracing benefits of tapping to pay with Georgia leading contactless penetration in domestic transactions globally followed by Australia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Cyprus

Tbilisi, Georgia, January 16, 2020— Visa today announced that Georgia is now leading the way globally to improve checkout through fast, easy and secure contactless payments. Georgia’s contactless penetration is now over 95% in domestic transactions[1].  

For many years, Georgia has been front and centre in terms of the adoption and use of payment innovations. Visa has been actively working to improve the checkout experience for consumers by introducing the speed, convenience and security of contactless payments. Consumers in Georgia have quickly embraced the benefits of tapping to pay with contactless cards and digital wallets with more than nine out of every 10 face-to-face domestic payment transactions occurring with a tap in the market.

“At Visa, we are proud of, and excited about yet another historic accomplishment achieved by Georgia. Georgia has always been a pioneer in adopting new payment solutions, right from being the first country in the CISSEE region[2]  to conduct a contactless transaction in a drugstore back in 2009 and now, with the recent launch of Apple Pay.  

Georgia reaching number one globally by contactless penetration is a success that’s shared with all our partner financial institutions and market stakeholders and I want to thank them all for their trust in Visa and passion towards bringing innovative solutions to Georgian consumers. We are committed to driving innovative payment solutions even further and offer our partners and Visa cardholders the most advanced and secure payment tools and experiences to maintain Georgia’s leadership in cashless payments and further support the country’s digital transformation goals.” – said Cristina Doros, Visa Country Manager for the Caucasus region.

Key milestones of Georgia’s contactless payment journey over the last 10 years[3]:

  • 2009- Together with Liberty Bank Visa completed the first Visa Contactless transaction in the CISSEE region;
    • 2013 - Jointly with Bank of Georgia, Visa launched contactless acceptance at McDonald’s restaurants across the country;
    • 2013 - TBC Bank initiated a large-scale deployment of contactless POS terminals and issued a series of iconic Visa contactless card designs and stickers. Later, TBC Bank cemented these achievements by enabling the 1st Visa Contactless mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solution ;
  • 2015 - VTB Bank Georgia launched host card emulation (HCE) technology enabling mobile payment services – to enable payments just by tapping a mobile phone to any contactless POS terminal;
  • 2016 - Together with Bank of Georgia Visa launched Visa Token Services, to accelerate disruptive innovation in eCommerce and mobile payments;
  • 2019 – Georgia became the first country in the Caucasus where Apple Pay was launched.

 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,,,

[1] Source: Visa data, as of November 2019

[2]CISSEE - Commonwealth of Independent States and South Eastern Europe

[3] Visa data, 2009-2019

Kotebe Metropolitan University implements the peace education to train peace-building citizens in Ethiopia

In December, the professors and students at Kotebe Metropolitan University participated at the ‘Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Peace Education’ sessions which are also joined by 214 schools in 36 countries. The sessions provided platforms for students and professors to express the significance of peace education and discuss the process of implementing peace education with the visions laid out by HWPL.

Ethiopia is the melting pot country, enriched with the diverse cultures, peoples, and religions. However, such diversity sparked many conflicts in the past, some of which are still ongoing. These conflicts have stripped the country and people apart emotionally, and the Ethiopian government is actively working to peacefully resolve them for the better future of the country.

To bring the peaceful reconciliation in the country, the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia and 9 other states had previously signed MOA with HWPL to implement the HWPL Peace Education. The curriculum is designed to empower citizens to properly recognize the value of peace and take the pioneering role of spreading the culture of peace. Implementing Peace Education is also the practical step toward implementing visions laid out by the Article 10-Spreading a culture of peace, out of 10 Articles and 38 Clauses of the ‘Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)’. Citizens are carrying out the popular peace movement to present DPCW to the United Nations to make it into the international law of peace in the form of a legally binding document. This global movement aims to fundamentally cut off vicious cycles of war and support citizens to promote the value of peace as the universal culture for humanity.

A student who participated at the peace education said, “I learned why peace education is important for resolving conflicts in Ethiopia. It taught me to act as a messenger of peace. It is also important to present 10 Articles and 38 Clauses of the DPCW to the UN to fundamentally eradicate war and conflicts. To this end, we must continue to participate in peace education,” emphasizing the need of peace education in order to peacefully resolve the conflicts in Ethiopia.

After signing MOA with HWPL, the Ministry of Higher Education in Ethiopia is currently reviewing the ‘HWPL Peace Education’ to incorporate and implement it as formal curriculums in all the universities. Addis Ababa School of Science and Technology (AASTU) also held the peace education sessions right after the Kotebe Metropolitan University.

After an initiative to pursue HWPL Peace Education was publicly announced in September 2017, HWPL began signing MOA with every Ministry of Education in need of peace education.

So far, HWPL has signed MOA with the corresponding ministries of 10 countries, as well as MOU with 214 schools in 36 countries, most of which are officially implementing peace education curriculums.

On January 14, 2020, the International Conference “Turkmenistan and International Organizations: Cooperation for Peace and Development” dedicated to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan in the year of 2020 marked by “Turkmenistan – Home of Neutrality” has started in Ashgabat.    

The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov participated to the ceremonial opening of the International Conference. 

The representatives of respected international organizations arrived to Ashgabat to attend the Conference.   Also, the heads and representatives of the Government of Turkmenistan, regional executives of international organizations, including the UN, OSCE, EU, World Bank, EBRD, ADB and others, as well as the chiefs of diplomatic corps accredited in Ashgabat and representatives of local and foreign mass media participated to the event.   

Speaking at the opening of the Conference, the President of Turkmenistan noted that Turkmenistan has chosen the model which has gained the name - Positive Neutrality and formulated its fundamental principles: peace-loving, noninterference in the affairs of other governments, respect of their sovereignty and territorial unity, nonparticipation to the international military organizations and pact.  He added that Turkmenistan became a reliable ally and effective partner of the United Nations in the process of preserving and sustaining political stability in the region, developing good neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation.      

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Head of Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Ms. Natalia Gherman, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Ms. Elena Panova, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat Ms. Natalya Drozd, Charge d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Turkmenistan Mr. Lubomir Frebort, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia Ms. Ashita Mittal, Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, and the Director of UNHCR Regional Office Ms.Yasuko Oda gave speeches during the Conference.

During the speeches, the unique character of the policy of Neutrality of Turkmenistan was stated which is implemented under the leadership of the Leader of nation and aimed at the attainment of global missions on sustaining stability, economic growth and security exclusively by peaceful means with the support of coordinated actions of all the participants of the international community.   

In the framework of the Conference, the Annual Action Plans for 2020 were signed between the Mejlis of Turkmenistan and UNICEF, between the Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan and UNICEF, between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Turkmenistan and UNICEF, between the State Committee for Statistics and UNFPA, between the Institute of State, Law and Democracy of Turkmenistan and UNICEF, between the Office of Ombudsperson of Turkmenistan and UNICEF, between the Mejlis of Turkmenistan and UNFPA, Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan and UNFPA, between the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan and UNFPA, between the Institute of State, Law and Democracy of Turkmenistan and UNFPA, as well as the Annual Joint Action Plan for 2020 in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Representation of the United Nations on cooperation in coordination of preparedness and response to emergency.   

The work of the International Conference “Turkmenistan and International Organizations: Cooperation for Peace and Development” will continue in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in the format of plenary sessions.


The American Friendship Club organized a Christmas charity event “Remember Our Heroes” in hotel Biltmore.   

Spouses and children of military servicemen who died as a result of defending territorial integrity of Georgia during hostilities with the Russian Federation in 2008 were invited to the Christmas reception.  Members of families of military servicemen who died in international missions also attended the Christmas event.    

It has been the 11th year that the project “Remember Our Heroes” has been implemented and its aim is to overcome the unreimbursable loss as a result of the war. Despite the intense pain, let’s commemorate the soldiers of armed forces of Georgia and make our modest contribution to eternalize the names of our devoted warriors, thank family members of hero soldiers and convince them that the Georgian state together with the international community is grateful to  them. Once again, let me congratulate entire Georgia with this precious holiday which we all celebrated with brilliant mood – stated Ilya Zukakishvili, president of the American Friends of Georgia Club.

Within the scope of the event, Christmas presents were given to the members of the families of military heroes.   

The American Friends of Georgia club extends its gratitude to the following partner companies for sponsoring the event and making Christmas charity: the American company KVG, company PSP PHARMA, Biltmore Hotel, Liberty Bank, Tbilisi Sakrebulo (Local Assembly), Company Energy, Company Pier Naturals and McDonald's Georgia.

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