No threat in terms of recognition of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity from Italy – Davit ZalkalianiThursday, 19 October 2017 14:15
As First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani has declared, there is no threat in terms of recognition of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Italy.
As Zalkaliani has declared, the ‘working visit’ to Italy by so-called ‘South Ossetian Foreign Minister’ Dimitri Medoev is only an individual initiative.
‘We have seen similar initiatives earlier. It should be noted that Georgia enjoys Italy’s official support in terms of its territorial integrity and sovereignty,’ Zalkaliani has remarked.
‘The policy of non-recognition of Georgia’s breakaway region is irreversible’ he has added.
‘Private persons invite them on behalf of different private organizations and we react on such events without delay. The Italian official government gives us a permanent guarantee that they will never officially respond to the facts and offer no prospect to establish any official contacts with the breakaway regime representatives,’ Zalkaliani has remarked.
South Ossetia intends to expand international contacts, - Dmitry Medoev, de facto South Ossetian Foreign Minister told RIA Novosti news agency during his working visit to Italy.
By Tamar Khurtsia
Laurence Plazenet, Carl Frode Tiller, Isabelle Wery, Katri Lipson, Daniel Pennac … these are just a handful of the 20 European authors, whose works will be translated into Georgian with the support of the European Union's Creative Europe programme and its support to literary translation, allowing Georgian readers to get acquainted with important works of European literature.
Leila Kirtadze is Head of Monitoring of Copyright and Translation at Elfi, a Georgian publishing house: she says European literature is modestly represented on the Georgian book market, compared to English-language works. Elfi is one of the publishing houses that won support from Creative Europe in 2016 for literary translations into Georgian, allowing it to translate the works of 10 European authors.
Elfi and another Georgian publisher Agora received funding from Creative Europe in 2016 to translate, publish, and promote 20 books in two years. Creative Europe does not allocate 100% funding, so publishers also need to find some of the money themselves.
This opportunity enables the translation of literary works from many European languages into Georgian. The fund aims to support cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, promote the transnational circulation of high quality literary works, and improve access to these literary works so that they can reach new audiences.
Elfi has called its project the "First time in Georgia: 10 EU Literature Prize winners". Within this project, it is translating such novels as 'Encirclement/Innsirkling' by Norwegian writer Carl Frode Tiller, 'God Is My Witness' by the Greek author Makis Tsitas, and 'Ice Cream Man' by Finnish writer Katri Lipson.
“In the last 20 years, Norwegian literature has never been published, and only a few books are translated from Greek and Italian. In order to fill the vacuum, Elfi selected the kind of European authors which Georgian society doesn’t know and which will give our readers some ideas about modern European literature and writers,” says Leila Kirtadze.
Elfi has been on the market for 20 years. Most of the books it publishes are for children. But the publishing house is convinced that translated literature will be greatly appreciated by Georgian readers.
While selecting authors and works, publishers consider the relevance to the time and the readers' taste. That’s why Finish author Katri Lipson is one of the 10 authors who will also be translated into Georgian. Dimitri Gogolashvili is the translator working on Katri Lipson’s book Ice Cream Man.
Generally, I select the book that I would like to translate but in this case they offered me this author and I got interested. The book is about the most recent history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, where a director sets out to mimic real life by creating a film without a script, where the actors learn the story and their part in it as they go. The picture of the communist era is well illustrated and in this regard it should be close and understandable to Georgian readers."
Mzia Gomelauri is translating The Ski Bum, a novel by the Lithuanian-French author Romain Gary, for publishing house Agora, which, among other things, focuses on the translation of French literature.
"The translation of Romain Gary is not new to me. I have already translated his Promise of Dawn, which is a very important work. If it were not for Agora, he would be completely unknown to Georgians. Gary is a very European author. He is also cosmopolitan, because he has a lot of different roots," says Mzia Gomelauri.
She was very happy to be offered to translate this work. "He is a great writer, and writes in a various ways, so you think it's a different person. It’s very interesting to translate his works, perhaps because two cultures cross here. The main character is the American, not French. He expresses himself in a different ways. This all makes it difficult to translate," says Gomelauri.
The director of Agora, Marina Balavadze, puts quality above all else. "The author should not be lost in the translation and we have the right translators, so we can give a guarantee. We have an opportunity to introduce some new translations. So we thought, why not and decided to expand it now and translate books not only from French but also from other languages,” said Balavadze.
Agora's project was named the "European Literature Mosaic" and covered 10 European writers, including Irish author Donald Ryan's novel The Spinning Heart and Italian author Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees.
"There is a great demand for books in Georgia. But as a publisher we wouldn't be able to do anything if it wasn't for programmes like 'Support to literary translation'. Our publishing house could offer two or three new translations for our readers, but now with the project we can offer 10 new authors. All this helps to increase the cultural level in the country. I’m very glad that Georgia is doing its best to be involved in this programme,” said Balavadze.
A publisher can apply for support for a project involving the translation, production and promotion of 10 works of fiction. Eligible costs include the translation, production and promotion of European literature. A publisher can apply for a grant of up to €100,000 (maximum 50% of the eligible costs), and the project must be delivered over a maximum of 2 years.
According to Kati Shengelia, the Head of the Programme Creative Georgia, five applicants applied for funding last year. She hopes the number of applicants and winners will increase in the future.
"This programme is good, because it means a lot of books will be published which wouldn't have been translated otherwise. Also, it is important to understand that you offer work to the translators. The translator's profession is more or less forgotten, in fact the purpose of this financing is also to raise a translator's profile and to make people realise that this is a real profession,” said Shengelia.
While the programme means European authors are translated into Georgian, it also means the works of Georgian authors have a chance to be translated into European languages. And Shengelia feels that for Georgia, joining Creative Europe meant that "Georgian culture was entering the European family”.
"The programme emphasises European identity. By joining this programme, Georgia has taken a very important step. Georgia has a great creative potential and this potential should be developed," says Shengelia.
Kati Shengelia says there is a lot of enthusiasm among Georgian publishers who are preparing to apply for more funding to translate European authors into Georgian. In Georgia, there is a hope that there will be more projects like this in the future, so that EU-Georgian cultural connections can become even stronger. The support of the European Union in strengthening these links is very much appreciated.
This article was produced in the framework of the EU Neighbours east project. The views expressed are solely those of the author of the article.
The Danish Foreign Ministry presented the Danish Neigbourhood Programme 2017-21 in Copenhagen on 12 June. The meeting was attended by Georgia’s Ambassador to Denmark Gigi Gigiadze.
The DANEP programme will focus on two directions in the priority countries: 1) Democracy and human rights 2) Sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The meeting was opened by Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen. Speaking about Georgia he stressed the recent "exemplary reforms” in the country.
Danish Neigbourhood Programme 2017-21 will be approved in autumn of 2017.
Strasbourg, 06.06.2017 - The co-rapporteurs of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) for Georgia, Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC) and Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE) expressed their concerns regarding
the alleged abduction and unlawful transfer to Azerbaijan of Azerbaijani journalist Afqan Muxtarli. They urged the Georgian authorities to fully investigate all allegations made in relation to this case and to be kept
abreast of the outcome of these investigations, which they will follow closely.
On the 5th of June, 2017 Georgia and the Kingdom of Belgium are marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Since the restoration of Georgia’s independence, the ties between the two countries have developed into extensive and fruitful collaboration. While sharing the core European values, both states have achieved close political cooperation and continue to coordinate their policies on a wide range of international issues.
Partnership with Belgium – a host country of European and Euro-Atlantic institutions – has been particularly important for Georgia due to Belgium’s special place in Europe’s recent history as one of the founding members of the EU and NATO and a loyal supporter of European integration.
In this respect, Belgium’s contribution to advancing Georgia`s relations both with the EU and NATO to a qualitatively new level as well as support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, should be underlined.
Furthermore, Georgia and Belgium are holding regular political dialogue at various levels. As a latest example of high level bilateral visits, recently Georgia had an honour to host the Chairman of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives H.E. Siegfried Bracke and Belgian MPs.
Importantly, people to people contacts are expending too. Brussels is often a host to Georgian artists and cultural events, allowing Belgian public and aficionados of art and music to get better acquainted with the contemporary Georgian art in all its diversity.
The last 25 years have laid solid foundation of bilateral relations between Georgia and the Kingdom of Belgium, which can only be further developed and strengthened. The two states will continue working closely in order to ensure peace, stability and security on the European continent.
President Trump Congratulates President Margvelashvili on the 25th Anniversary of Georgia-US Diplomatic RelationsWednesday, 17 May 2017 17:43
Dear Mr. President,
On the 25th anniversary of our countries’ diplomatic relations, I extend to you and the Georgian people my warmest wishes and sincere appreciation for our longstanding friendship and cooperation.
In the first quarter century of our partnership, the United States and Georgia have established a strong trans-Atlantic bond. We share common values, and have stood together under difficult circumstances to defend those values against international terrorism and regional instability. The United States supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internally recognized borders. We also recognize Georgia’s right to chart its own future. Georgian independence and democracy remain an aspiration to the world.
My Administration and I look forward to future collaboration with you and the Georgian government to advance the shared values and prosperity of our two countries.
Donald J. Trump
Georgia and the People’s Republic of China signed a free trade agreement on 13 May 2017. The agreement was signed by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the Minister of Commerce of China.
The free trade agreement will contribute to the further development of trade relations, based on the principles of mutual benefit, and will bring co-operation between Georgia and China to a higher level.
Within the framework of the agreement, 94% of Georgian goods imported to China will be exempted from taxes. Besides, the agreement will open up the world’s largest market of 1,4 bln consumers for Georgia-made goods and services.
Georgia has free trade agreements signed with the EU, Turkey, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the European Free Trade Association.
European Investment Bank (EIB) presented two new business innovation programmes at a conference in Tbilisi. The new “’DCFTA Initiative East” and “EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020: InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” programmes were developed jointly with the European Commission and will boost the development of the private sector in Georgia. Around 200 representatives of business, banks, microfinance institutions, financial advisors and industry associations, as well as high-level representatives of the European Union and the Georgian Government, were present at the conference to discuss support for economic growth and employment.
The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) Initiative East aims to strengthen economic development in the countries which have signed an association agreement with the EU – namely Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – by providing financial and technical support targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the three countries.
"InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB Group, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation in order to support investment.
In February 2017, the European Investment Fund and ProCredit Bank JSC (Georgia) signed the first agreement for SMEs in Georgia under InnovFin. The agreement is expected to enable ProCredit to provide EUR 50 million in loans to innovative companies over the next two years.
H.E. Janos Herman, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, stated: "These programmes are another proof that the European Union is committed to supporting the development of Georgian SMEs. In close cooperation with the European Investment Bank, we provide tangible support to innovative businesses that seek to take advantage of the new opportunities with the EU."
30 congressmen of the United House of Representatives sent a letter to President Donald Trump commemorating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Georgia. The letter initiated by the co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Georgia, Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Gerald Connolly (D-Virginia) represents a clear example of U.S. bipartisan support for Georgia. The letter is signed by congressmen of both branches of the Congress: Republicans and Democrats.
The letter recognizes the U.S. strong commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. Besides, the Congressmen call on the President to launch negotiations on a free trade agreement with Georgia and to deepen a high-level dialogue on trade and investments. The Congressmen also urge the President to continue to support Georgia on its path of integration with NATO. The letter recognizes the strong strategic partnership between the two countries and encourages the Administration to strengthen even further this partnership.
“Over the last 25 years, Georgia has continued to develop its democratic institutions. Georgia has achieved substantial progress in both political and economic development by strengthening its institutions, reducing government regulation, fighting corruption, and simplifying its tax code. Georgia’s accomplishments are even more striking against the backdrop of continued Russian military aggression. Russia has illegally occupied twenty percent of Georgian territory since it invaded Georgia in 2008. Russian troops have continued the process of creeping annexation and frequently commit human rights violations and kidnappings throughout the occupied regions and adjacent territories” – reads the letter.
“Despite its own security challenges, Georgia plays a significant role in ensuring global security, namely in the fight against terrorism. Georgia is a committed and reliable U.S. partner, most notably manifested by serving shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. This country of less than four million people is one of the largest troop contributors to the international mission in Afghanistan, and Georgian soldiers have been killed in combat. Georgia’s military spending also exceeds two percent of its GDP, a benchmark that only five NATO member states currently meet. We ask that you continue historical U.S. support for Georgia’s bid to join NATO” – the Congressmen write in their letter to Donald Trump.
According to the letter, Georgia has a business-friendly environment and is a natural home for U.S. companies that want to do business in the wider Caucasus and Black Sea region. As a result, U.S. trade with Georgia has grown significantly over the past decade. In 2016, the U.S. exported over $324 million of goods to Georgia. We strongly encourage the Administration to make progress toward negotiations on a U.S.- Georgia Free Trade Agreement. The U.S.-Georgia High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment should produce a clear understanding of the commitments and obligations required for negotiations on a free trade agreement. Such an agreement would be beneficial for the U.S., Georgia, and the entire Caucasus and Central Asian region”.
“Georgia has been a reliable and strategic partner of the United States for more than 25 years. In December 2016, the Parliament of Georgia passed a bipartisan resolution affirming the U.S. as the major strategic partner and ally of Georgia. In September 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its own resolution (H.Res.660), introduced by Georgia Caucus co-chairs Representatives Gerald E. Connolly and Ted Poe, expressing its unwavering support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. We reaffirm our bipartisan commitment to support Georgia and encourage the Administration to strengthen the strategic relationship. It is critical that the United States sends a strong message that we stand with Georgia, just as its people have done for us” - reads the joint letter of Republican and Democrat Congressmen to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Turkish ambassador to Georgia Zeki Levent Gümrükçü gave an exclusive interview to Starvision, The ambassador explains why this was such a bitterly-contested process and what are turkey’s plans for future in terms of moving towards the EU. “It is Turkey who is constantly choking on the doors of the EU, who is constantly asking to be able to move ahead in the membership process. We are not turning our face away from the EU. We have been given this candidate status in 2004 but since then only 4 or 6 chapters have been opened, because the EU for some political reasons is unfortunately preventing any negotiating chapters for our accession process to continue. We are trying to move ahead in the EU membership process, because we believe that to the common benefit, in the interest of both countries” – the Turkish ambassador told Starvision TV.