EU Ambassador visits EU supported rural development project in Borjomi
Last week, the EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell travelled to Borjomi and Bakuriani to explore the results of the EU’s support to rural development in Borjomi municipality. During the trip, the Ambassador met with Borjomi Local Action Group (LAG) members and visited a rural development initiative in Bakuriani.
The Borjomi LAG is one of eight LAGs established with EU support across different regions in Georgia with the aim of encouraging diversified local economic growth based on the best European practices.
It represents a platform for partnership between local private sectors, civil society and public sector representatives, who contribute to the municipality’s social and economic development and support the participation of the local population.
“I am glad to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the members of Borjomi LAG, who serve diligently for the better future of the municipality,” said Ambassador Hartzell. “I really believe in these kinds of projects. They bring out talent and entrepreneurship from those best suited to assess the needs and opportunities of their local communities.”
After the meeting, Ambassador Hartzell visited one of the municipality’s EU-funded rural development initiatives: a ski rental shop in Bakuriani.
A MEETING TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL
On September 18, 2023, the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov held a meeting with the President of the European Council Charles Michel in New York.
As the head of state noted, Turkmenistan attaches great importance to strengthening friendly ties and constructive dialogue with the EU, which is expanding every year, covering new areas of interaction.
In this context, the successful cooperation of Turkmenistan with this international structure, both in a bilateral format and within the framework of the European Union - Central Asia Dialogue, was emphasized.
The European Union is a long-time partner of Turkmenistan in the implementation of a number of specialized projects and programs aimed at solving priority tasks for the further economic and social development of our country, including in the field of legislation, education, information and communication technologies, agriculture and water management, environmental protection, climate change, the head of state emphasized.
At the same time, it was noted that currently leading European companies are represented in many sectors of the Turkmen economy - in the oil and gas complex, transport, electricity, construction, communications and communications.
During the conversation, an interested exchange of views took place on the prospects for further interaction in the context of its key aspects and the existing diverse potential.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili meets new Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili held an introductory meeting with Meline Arakelian, new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Georgia.In the meeting at the Government Administration, the key directions of cooperation between Georgia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands were discussed.The discussed topics included the relations between Georgia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands which are characterized by a growing dynamic both on the bilateral level and within the frameworks of international organizations.Attention at the meeting was paid to the process of Georgia’s European integration. The Head of Government briefed the Ambassador on Georgia’s progress and the state of affairs in the implementation of the 12 recommendations. He also pointed out that Georgia is expecting the candidate status by the end of this year.The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of granting the candidate status to Georgia and the significance of support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands in this process.Irakli Garibashvili congratulated Meline Arakelian on the commencement of her diplomatic mission in Georgia and wished her success in her future endeavors.Press Service of the Government Administration
AMBASSADOR OF TURKMENISTAN IN GEORGIA PRESENTED COPIES OF HIS CREDENTIALS
On August 31, 2023, the ceremony of presenting copies of Credentialsby the newly appointed of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan in Georgia Mr. D.Seyitmammedov to the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Mr. A.Khvtisiashvilitook place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia congratulated the Ambassador on his appointment and expressed readiness of the Georgian side to provide assistance and support in his activities for the further development of bilateral relations.
During the meeting, the parties exchanged views on the current state and prospects for cooperation between the two countries. Theyalso touched upon the issue of organization of high-level mutual visits, as well as the issues of further development and strengthen of Turkmen-Georgian cooperation in political-diplomatic, trade-economic, and cultural-humanitarian spheres.
The Ambassador, in turn, assured that he would make every effort to further strengthen relations between Turkmenistan and Georgia.
EU Foreign Affairs Council: Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia in focus
The EU Foreign Affairs Council took place on 24 April, with the situation in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova as priority topics.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the EU ministers via video conference, and briefed them about the latest developments on the ground and Ukraine’s military priorities and needs, especially in terms of ammunition and missiles.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell highlighted that in total the EU and its member states have already facilitated the delivery to Ukraine of over €13 billion in military support.
He also updated ministers on EU military support to Ukraine in the context of the three-track plan. On track one, the EU adopted an assistance measure under the European Peace Facility worth €1 billion to address Ukraine’s most immediate needs. EU member states are also finalising work on track two, to facilitate joint procurement. Lastly, the European Commission will soon present concrete proposals on how to ramp up the European defence production capacity under track three.
Ministers were also informed about the activities of the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine), which has already exceeded its initial target by training over 16,000 Ukrainian soldiers. The EU aims to train a total of 30,000 soldiers by the end of 2023.
EU Foreign Ministers also held an informal exchange with the Georgian Foreign Minister, Ilia Darchiashvili, and confirmed that Georgia has made significant progress in many key reforms. They also highlighted that rule of law, human rights, media, civil society and independent state institutions are important elements for each country aspiring to join the EU.
Concerning Moldova, the Foreign Affairs Council established a new civilian EU CSDP partnership mission (EUPM Moldova), reached a broad agreement on a new framework for sanctions against those who destabilise the country, and on allocating further €40 million coming from the European Peace Facility to support Moldova’s defence capabilities.
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AMBASSADOR DEGNAN'S REMARKS TO MEDIA AT SKILLS WEEK
Question about the event
Ambassador Degnan: I’m very pleased to be here today, along with the Minister of Education, my EU colleague, and many other distinguished guests for the launch of Georgia’s Skills Week. The United States has been helping Georgia develop its education sector for years, including in the area of vocational education and training. This is because we want Georgian citizens to be able to acquire the skills they need through vocational education and training in order to get good paying jobs for rewarding lifelong careers. This is our latest program through USAID: industry-led skills bring together the private sector that coordinates with vocational education and training institutions to make sure that students are coming out with the skills that are needed in today’s market. The programs are designed to bring together the government, the private sector, vocational and education training institutions, and civil society to make sure that Georgians have the opportunity for better paying jobs and rewarding careers that are going to help both their families and their communities. So, we are delighted today to launch Skills Week, a weeklong celebration of the achievements that Georgia has made in this area.
Question on designations on individuals associated with the Georgian judiciary and U.S. study tours for judges
Ambassador Degnan: Our study tours have been popular and successful because they bring together judges from the United States with judges in Georgia and give them an opportunity to learn from each other and to share their best practices and lessons learned. Sometimes they talk about how they manage their courtrooms, the heavy workloads, or sometimes particularly interesting issues that come up during cases. Our programs are open to those who are qualified, as well as those who will benefit from these exchanges with American judges and maybe bring ideas back to their courtrooms. They’re also open to those who can go because this is a big time commitment. Sometimes, given the workloads of judges here, they’re not always able to go for the full two weeks; sometimes it’s even longer than two weeks. So, we are always delighted when Georgian judges choose to participate in our programs, and we usually have a lot of interest in them. We look forward to continuing this great exchange between Georgian and American judges.
On your second question, Parliament created these investigatory commissions as a mechanism to look into issues that are important to the people of Georgia, to look into issues of the day that require greater transparency, and more information to allow the citizens of Georgia to be better informed and also to hold people accountable and provide transparency on important issues. So, the reason this mechanism was created by Parliament was to provide citizens with more information. I think it’s a very useful technique that’s been a mechanism that’s used in many different Parliaments, including the US Congress. We would hope that Parliament and Members of Parliament would make full use of these tools that they have created in the interest of their citizens.
Question on Helsinki Commission’s call for Nika Gvaramia’s release
Ambassador Degnan: The Helsinki Commission is a very well-respected organization that has a mandate from the United States Congress to monitor human rights around the world, including media freedom. They have been clear, as have many others, including our Embassy, on concerns about Mr. Gvaramia’s case, including the original charges, the timing of the charges, and then subsequently the conviction and decision. This is a letter from an organization that has been a friend of Georgia’s for a very long time, a strong supporter of Georgia in its democratic development and its progress toward European integration. Any decision regarding pardoning is solely up to President Zourabichvili, and I’m sure she takes all of the requests—such as those from the Helsinki Commission—into consideration in making her decisions.