Ambassador Dunnigan lauded General Shalikashvili's legacy and the center's enduring role in empowering its partnersFriday, 17 November 2023 14:13
VIDEO / Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia Meets Zhou Qian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to GeorgiaMonday, 13 November 2023 16:32
Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia met H.E. Zhou Qian, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to Georgia today.
Friendly and strategic partnership between the two countries was noted with satisfaction at the meeting. Current agenda of bilateral relations was also discussed.
Intensification of cooperation between the countries in various areas was given a high assessment and hopes were expressed towards the format of strategic partnership, which will lead to a further development of sectoral, economic and trade relations between the people.
Successful cooperation between the two countries was also highlighted at the meeting for the development of a special geopolitical location of Georgia, which increases its potential as a corridor connecting east and west.
Historic importance of the visit paid by the Prime Minister of Georgia at the invitation of H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China was highlighted at the meeting and its huge role in solidifying the relations between Georgia and China at a strategic level.
Prime Minister of Georgia most positively reiterated the outstanding role, vision and achievements of effective governance of the President of the People's Republic of China in the transformation and advancement of China, thereby focusing on various wide-scale reforms planned by the Government of China under the leadership of the President, including the initiatives of global significance, as well as different and extraordinary vision of the President of China in solving and regulating the problems witnessed at a regional and international scale.
The Prime Minister of Georgia also commented on the statement made by the Mme President of Georgia in relation to H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China in an interview with a French Television Channel LCI, thereby stating that such wording is categorically unacceptable and alarming.
Referred rhetoric contradicts the attitude of the Georgian authorities and people of Georgia towards China and does not comply with a friendly, strategic partnership spirit of the two countries, thereby harming the friendly relations and partnership between the two countries. According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, it is unfortunate and by far not the first instance when Mme President of Georgia has violated the Constitution by harming the state interests, pursuing individual activities and making personal assessments of international affairs that are not aligned with the government position, as a result of which the international image of the country suffers. Her public and grave breaches of the Constitution have served as a reason for the ruling team to initiate the Impeachment of Mme President.
According to the Prime Minister, Georgia is a parliamentary republic, whereby the president is not entitled to run the foreign policy of the country. It is the exclusive discretion of the Government of Georgia to carry out the foreign policy of the country and such a mandate has only been granted to the Government by the Georgian people. Thus, the statement made by Mme President of Georgia does not even formally express the attitude of the Georgian authorities towards the state and leader of China.
The Prime Minister of Georgia expressed deploration for the statement made by the President of Georgia, thereby expressing hopes that it will not affect or harm the historically most positive relationship dynamics between Georgia and China.
By the close of the meeting, dignitaries expressed readiness to maintain the active agenda of relations and to work for greater solidification of interaction between the two countries.
Press Service of the Government Administration
On November 6, 2023, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan in Georgia Mr. D. Seyitmammedov met with Chairman of Parliament of Georgia Mr. Shalva Papuashvili.
During the meeting, special attention was paid to the interaction between legislative bodies of the two countries, which is an integral component in the development of comprehensive Turkmen-Georgian cooperation. The sides also discussed promising areas of cooperation in trade, economic, transport and communication, energy, as well as in the humanitarian and cultural spheres.
Particular emphasis was placed on the intensification of cooperation between the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Groups of the two countries, which serves an important tool for promoting constructive partnership, maintaining the bonds of friendship and mutual between countries and peoples.
The participants also discussed the issues related to the organization of visit of Chairman of Parliament of Georgia in Turkmenistan and noted the increasing role of parliamentary diplomacy in the political and diplomatic sphere.
On October 24, 2023, the ceremony of presenting credentials by Ambassador Dovletmyrat Seyitmammedov to the President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan in Georgia was held at the Presidential Palace.
During the talks, the President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili congratulated the Ambassador of Turkmenistan on the appointment and wished him success in his diplomatic activities.
In turn, the Ambassador conveyed warm greetings and best wishes to the President Salome Zourabichvili on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Having expressed gratitude for the warm regards on behalf of the Leadership of Turkmenistan, the President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili asked the Ambassador to convey the warmest and most friendly greetings to the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, as well as expressed the wishes of peace and prosperity to the people of Turkmenistan.
During the meeting, the sides touched upon the strengthening of relations between the two countries including the comprehensive expansion of bilateral political, trade-economic and cultural - humanitarian cooperation.
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.
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.
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.
Natela Grigalashvili is the winner of the Family Connections Photo Contest for Georgia, with her project “The Final Days of Georgian Nomads” rewarded at a gala awards event announcing the winners of the EUNEIGHBOURS EAST - FOTOFESTIWAL photo contest on Friday 31 March 2023 at the Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum.
The photo contest, funded by the European Union, invited professional photographers from the six Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine - to enter a set of photographs around the theme of Family Connections, with one photographer from each country winning a prize of €1,000.
The gala awards event was hosted by Pawel Herczynski, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia and Nestan Nizharadze, the co-founder of Tbilisi Photography & Multimedia Museum, and attended by local celebrities, and media, bloggers and influencers from across the region.
Presenting the awards, Ambassador Pawel Herczynski said: "Through this photo contest, we are proud to showcase the EU's commitment to fostering cultural exchange and promoting the power of photography as a tool for reflection and change. The theme of Family and family connections highlight the importance of our shared values and the role Family plays in shaping our societies. Congratulations to all the photographers for their creative and inspiring interpretations."
The photo competition sought personal interpretations around the theme of ‘family connections’: how does family connect us to our roots, culture, traditions, attitudes and future? Which connections define a family and make us belong? How do these connections adapt to changing worlds, technology, conflict, love and loss?
Georgian winner Natela Grigalashvili is a freelance documentary photographer based in Tbilisi, working mainly on long-term documentary projects in rural areas of the country. Her winning project, “The Final Days of Georgian Nomads”, examines the lives of nomad families in mountainous Adjara.
This is how Natela Grigalashvili describes her award-winning project:
“Mountainous Adjara is one of the most unique regions of Georgia, an area where the traditions and old ways of life have been preserved to this day. The isolation and alienation of the inhabitants of this mountainous area has been an ongoing issue for a long time, and the past decades have been especially challenging. The difficult social and economic situation in the country has hindered its development and the integration of its inhabitants with the rest of the country.
“For years, the inhabitants of Adjara have been unable to access proper education, health care and many other services. Villages often experienced electricity shortages and during harsh winters they were usually cut off from the outside world. Due to the absence of basic living conditions, many Adjarian villages are now empty. Many families have become eco migrants as they were forced to move to other regions of Georgia or abroad, mostly to Turkey. Khulo and Ghorjomi Gorge are the highest settlements of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. There are 18 different villages of various sizes in the Gorge. Because of their small population, some of these villages only have elementary schools and high school students have to attend schools in other villages. The roads between these villages are damaged and the infrastructure is faulty.
“Almost all of the inhabitants of these villages are Muslim, and there are mosques in every large village. The residents are mostly cattle breeders, but due to the lack of pastures, cattle owners take their herds to the mountains in the summer and stay there until late autumn. Nomadic Adjarians have to move several times a year. But despite this, most of the men still have to work in Turkey, holding seasonal jobs for additional income. Because of this difficult situation, this mountainous region is slowly emptying and its unique tradition and lifestyle is being forgotten.”
Natela was one of three shortlisted photographers from Georgia. The other two were Ekaterine Kolesnikova (Morning Comes Too Soon) and Tako Robakidze (Peacekeepers).
The six winners were chosen by team of five top international judges from a total of more than 400 initial applications, narrowed down to a shortlist of 18 photographers – three from each country – who were all invited to the awards event in Tbilisi.
The other national winners are Nazik Armenakyan (Armenia), Orkhan Azimov (Azerbaijan), Pasha Kritchko (Belarus), Katerina Shosheva (Moldova), and Marysia Myanovska (Ukraine).
The gala awards event was attended by the EU Ambassador to Georgia, as well as photographers, media, content creators and influencers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
The day before the awards ceremony, on 30 March, the shortlisted photographers took part in a masterclass with the international judges of the competition.
The contest was organised by the EU NEIGHBOURS EAST programme, in partnership with Polish Fotofestiwal.
About Natela Grigalashvili
Natela Grigalashvili is a freelance documentary photographer based in Tbilisi, Georgia. In the past, Grigalashvili worked as a photo reporter as well as a film operator. At the beginning of her career, she used to shoot with black-and-white film but for more than a decade Grigalashvili has been taking colour photographs with a digital camera. She now mainly works on long-term documentary projects in the rural areas of Georgia, focusing on the lives and issues of people living in villages and provincial cities. While working on a photo series, Grigalashvili focuses on the story which is told by the image.
Ambassador Herczynski’s message on the one year mark of Russia’s war in Ukraine. It has been one year since Russia launched its unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.
This ongoing war is an unprecedented violation of fundamental values and principles of international law.
Ukraine was attacked because it wanted to decide about its future by itself, not with dictate from Moscow.
According to the UN Charter, as a victim of aggression, Ukraine has the inherent right to defend itself.
The EU remains resolute, united and determined in our support to Ukraine on all fronts: humanitarian, economic, political, diplomatic and military.
This is not just an aggression against Ukraine, a sovereign country, but aggression against democracy worldwide.
This is a threat to all countries, because what is at stake is their independence and sovereignty to make choices based on their own decisions.
The EU is working towards the widest possible international condemnation and isolation of Russia by the international community.
Our unity with like-minded international partners has been unwavering and we are taking unprecedented actions together.
Georgia has been actively participating in these efforts.
Six United Nations General Assembly resolutions confirm the international condemnation and isolation of Russia.
The EU’s support for Ukraine will not diminish the attention to other partners. On the contrary, unequivocal and resolute response to Russia’s war in Ukraine must be maintained to hold the aggressor accountable.
Georgia’s close cooperation with the EU, based on shared understanding of our common European values is a solid foundation to build an ever stronger EU-Georgia relationship. The EU has given a clear European perspective to Georgia, with concrete steps to receive EU candidate status. This process is merit-based and reform driven.
At the same time, Russian and other disinformation actors seek to manipulate the information space to echo pro-Kremlin narratives and propaganda, obstruct integration, sow divisions and diminish solidarity. We need to be vigilant, strengthen our resilience and cooperate closely to counter these malicious activities.
Ukraine is fighting for values the Europe is built on.
Ukraine’s fight is our fight.
Ukraine must prevail.
Glory to Ukraine!
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Ahmed Ebrahim Ahmed Taher Al Nuaimi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Georgia.