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  1. GEORGIANBULLETIN Monthly Issue February - March 2012 Embassy of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of LuxembourgMission of Georgia to the European Union www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge • The President of Georgia extended his condolences to the Belgian and Dutch people • The President of Georgia attended the Munich Security Conference • Georgia has officially abolished a visa regime with Russia • 1st EU – Eastern Partnership Forum was held in Tbilisi The President of Georgia extended his condolences to the Belgian and Dutch people The President of Georgia expresses deep sorrow regarding the tragedy that happened in Valais region of Switzerland, where 28 citizens of Belgium and Netherlands have lost their lives, including 22 children. Mikheil Saakashvili sympathizes with the Belgian and Dutch people and extends condolences to the families of the deceased. “I am shocked by the tragedy that happened to the Belgian and Dutch people. In these hard moments, I would like to express support on behalf of the Georgian people. Please accept my sincere condolences. I sympathize with everyone, especially the families of the deceased”. 15/03/2012 http://president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News?7396 http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/news/1.1246658 AGENDA 05/02/2012 The President of Georgia attended the Munich Security Conference 06/02/2012 Meeting held between the Georgian Foreign Minister and the UN Secretary General 27/02/2012 Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the conclusions on the South Caucasus adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council 28/02/2012 MikheilSaakashvili met with the European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht 29/02/2012 Georgia has officially abolished a visa regime with Russia 15/03/2012 The President of Georgia met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany 23/03/2012 1st EU – Eastern Partnership Forum was held in Tbilisi 27/03/2012 The President of Georgia addressed the participants of the second Nuclear Security Summit 28/03/2012 The ninth plenary session on the Negotiations of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement was held in Tbilisi PAGE 1

  2. GEORGIAN BULLETIN February-March 2012 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge The President of Georgia attended the Munich Security Conference The President of Georgia participated in the Munich Security Conference. Mikheil Saakashvili addressed the participants of the forum and spoke about the reforms that have been implemented in Georgia since the Rose Revolution. The Head of State also drew attention to the security of the region. The Munich Security Conference panel was discussing democratic reforms in the Arab countries, which have embarked on the road to democratic transformation and Georgia was being reviewed as a positive example by the MSC panel. “We can barely grasp the meaning of what has happened, nor can we know where these diverse events will lead. There is no freedom textbook to teach people in Tunisia, Libya, or elsewhere. Georgia’s post-revolutionary experience of radical social, political and mental transformation does not provide a transferable model for everyone, but it could help us understand the diverse challenges that the societies under transformation are currently facing” – noted the President and added that based on the Georgian experience, any country could ease the path it still has to travel. Mikheil Saakashvili spoke in details about the conclusions made regarding the changes and reforms in Georgia since the Rose Revolution. According to him, the most important time period is when a hard and long-term reform process begins. However, Mikheil Saakashvili thinks that only in terms of applying a comprehensive all-government and all-society approach the results are real and sustainable. Additionally, the reforms in every sector must be comprehensive and part of social transformation. He also noted that people become stronger and less patient after a revolution. Mikheil Saakashvili spoke in details about the conclusions made regarding the changes and reforms in Georgia since the Rose Revolution. According to him, the most important time period is when a hard and long-term reform process begins. However, Mikheil Saakashvili thinks that only in terms of applying a comprehensive all-government and all-society approach the results are real and sustainable. Additionally, the reforms in every sector must be comprehensive and part of social transformation. He also noted that people become stronger and less patient after a revolution. “It is impossible to know in advance what the progress will be like. When you attack interest groups, they bite back—it can be painful. We had our share of demonstrations and opposition; I had to resign in 2007 because I thought I put the reform agenda against the referendum in the new Presidential elections. We could have rested. Georgia has progressed tremendously. The World Bank ratings, Transparency International ratings, all kinds of ratings in terms of population perceptions and we could have said: Okay, everything is over. Reforms should never stop. Governance is a process of constant learning, questioning, adaptation, and change. This is what every authoritarian regime always fails to understand. Now is when it comes to a point where I want to mention the fact that revolutions are fought and won by the citizens of the countries in which they occur. But the response of the international community matters – both in order to support democratic movements and to deter those who want to suppress them.” – was the message of the President of Georgia to the leaders of the countries that want to transform their countries positively. The Head of State will hold meetings with various leaders during the conference. The Munich Security Conference is the highest level forum held annually. This year 70 high level guests from around the world are attending the conference including the UN Secretary General and leaders of various countries and international organizations. Mikheil Saakashvilia arrived at the conference after an official visit to the United States. 05/02/2012 http://president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News?p=7326&i=4 Information on the meeting held between the Georgian Foreign Minister and the UN Secretary General On 3 February 2012 as part of his visit to New York, the Georgian Foreign Minister, Mr. Grigol Vashadze met the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. The two focused on issues concerning the current situation in Georgia's occupied territories, the Geneva Talks, PAGE 2

  3. The EU welcomes the significant progress made in the framework of the Eastern Partnership to strengthen the European Union's relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and remains committed to promoting prosperity, security, democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance, sustainable development and regional cooperation throughout the South Caucasus. The EU acknowledges the European aspirations and European choice of Georgia and its commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy. The EU welcomes Georgia's efforts in modernizing and reforming its society and fighting corruption. The EU stresses the utmost importance of ensuring that the Parliamentary elections in 2012 and the Presidential elections in 2013 meet internationally recognized democratic standards and will closely monitor developments in Georgia leading up to the elections. The EU welcomes the progress made in the negotiations on the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia, and the launch of negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. The EU also encourages and stresses the need for continued effective implementation of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreements in order to open a visa dialogue between EU and Georgia. The EU reconfirms its readiness to promote mobility of citizens of Georgia and to take gradual steps, including establishing a two-phased Visa Action Plan, towards a visa-free regime in a secure and well managed environment in due course. The EU reiterates its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders and reiterates its concern about the continuing Russian military and security-related presence and infrastructure reinforcements in the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The EU calls on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 and the Implementing Measures of 8 September 2008, including by providing access to EUMM to the breakaway regions. The EU calls on the participants of the Geneva International Discussion to the conflict to continue to work together towards sustainable security arrangements. In this regard, a clear non-use of force commitment by Russia would be necessary. The EU confirms its commitment to remain engaged and involved in the stabilization and conflict resolution efforts in Georgia, including by continuing its engagement as co-chair in the Geneva Discussions, the efforts of the EUSR for South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia and the continued presence of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM). GEORGIAN BULLETIN February-March 2012 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge the UN Secretary General's report on the implementation of the Resolution on Refugees, the UN Team and the deepening of co-operation within the UN. 06/02/2012 http://belgium.mfa.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=223&info_id=13824 The President of Georgia met with the Speaker of the Saeima of Latvia The President of Georgia met with the Speaker of the Latvian Saeima – Solvita Aboltina and Latvian lawmakers. During the meeting the sides expressed desire to deepen cordial relations and political cooperation between the two countries. Solvita Aboltina once again expressed the support of Georgia’s integration in Euro Atlantic Structures on behalf of her country. The Latvian lawmakers spoke about the importance of implemented reforms and infrastructural projects in the country. Regional security and the importance of Latvian support for Georgia within the scope of international organizations were among the main topics of discussion during the meeting. From the Latvian side the meeting was attended by the head of the group on cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia and an opposition faction member of Saeima. The Latvian delegation has arrived in Georgia on an official visit within the scope of which they have already held several meetings. 14/02/2012 http://president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News?p=7345&i=3 Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the conclusions on the South Caucasus adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia welcomes the conclusions on the South Caucasus, including Georgia adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 27 February 2012. This document provides further evidence of particular intensification of relations between Georgia and the European Union. PAGE 3

  4. GEORGIAN BULLETIN February-March 2012 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge The EU welcomes the steps undertaken by Georgia in implementing its strategy on engagement with the breakaway regions. The EU reiterates its commitment to help improve the situation of Internally Displaced Persons in Georgia and refugees from the conflicts and their unconditional right to safe and dignified return. 27/02/2012 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/128197.pdf Mikheil Saakashvili met with the European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht The President of Georgia met with the European Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht. The sides have opened a series of negotiations regarding free trade between Georgia and the EU and discussed future action plans. According to Karel De Gucht, a free trade space between Georgia and the EU will be the main mechanism in terms of developing economic ties between the sides. According to him, the beginning of negotiations proves the readiness of the EU to deepen progressive economic integration and political association with the EU’s eastern partners. Aside from this, he expressed hope that the scheduled negotiation will go fast and will facilitate economic connection. The European Commissioner’s visit is taking place before the first rounds of negotiation, which will be held at the end of March. During the visit of Karel De Gucht, the sides will discuss the issue of creating a common trade space and the format of the negotiations process for the participants.  The European Union made a decision about creating the deep and comprehensive free trade zone with Georgia in September of last year and stated that the country has implemented important reforms in the trade and investment regulation related spheres. 28/02/2012 http://president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News?p=7366&i=2 The 8th Plenary Session on the Negotiations of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement held in Brussels The 8th Plenary Session on the Negotiations of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement was held in Brussels on February 22, 2012. During the meeting, the sides discussed the following topics: Preamble of the Agreement; Political Dialogue and Reform, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP); Justice, Freedom and Security (JFS) and Institutional, General and Final Provisions. The sides took stock of the good progress achieved in the negotiations and set further plans for cooperation. According to the mutual assessment, the negotiations proceeded in a constructive atmosphere. The future Association Agreement between Georgia and the EU will replace the current EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and provide for significant strengthening of relations between Georgia and the EU and developing cooperation to a new, qualitatively higher level. This Agreement will give Georgia the possibility of political association and gradual economic integration with the European Union. 22/02/2012 http://belgium.mfa.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=223&info_id=14019 Georgia has officially abolished a visa regime with Russia The initiative of Mikheil Saakashvili about unilaterally abolishing a visa regime with Russia has already been formalized. The President signed the decree about an amendment to the №399 decree of June 28, 2006 “Regarding the rules of issuing visas, extending, and discontinuing their validity”. According to the new legal act, citizens of the Russian Federation do not need a visa to enter Georgia and stay up to 90 days. Mikheil Saakashvili introduced this initiative while delivering an annual report to the Parliament of Georgia. “We are ready to give a chance to freedom and bilaterally abolish a visa regime with Russia. Let every Russian businessmen know that Georgia is as attractive to Russia as for citizens of any other country; free of corruption, lawlessness and bureaucratic pressure. Let the Russian tourists know that they can visit Georgia any time and everyone will meet them with famous Georgian hospitality here. Nobody will prohibit them from enjoying wine and Borjomi they miss.” – stated the President of Georgia during his address. 29/02/2012 http://president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News?p=7371&i=2 PAGE 4

  5. GEORGIAN BULLETIN February-March 2012 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge The President of Georgia met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Mikheil Saakashvili met with the Foreign Minister of Germany Guido Westerwelle, who has arrived in Georgia for a working visit. The sides talked about a wide spectrum of issues and discussed ways of deepening mutual relations. During the meeting they also talked about the multi- directional format of Georgian German relations, the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia and the prospects of Georgia in terms of integration into the EU and NATO. The German side positively assessed the economic, social, political and institutional reforms implemented in Georgia. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany has scheduled meetings with his Georgian counterpart as well as representatives of the civil society and various members of the Georgian government.Guido Westerwelle arrived in Georgia within the scope of his regional visit. He is accompanied by the Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office - Marcus Loning and several German Businessmen.  15/03/2012 http://president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News?p=7398&i=1 1st EU – Eastern Partnership Forum was held in Tbilisi 1st EU-Eastern Partnership Forum was held at Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel in Tbilisi organized by the Office of the State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and the Institute for Eastern Studies of the Republic of Poland. The high representatives of executive and legislative body of Member States of the EU and Eastern Partnership countries (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Moldova, Armenia, and Ukraine) have participated in the forum, as well as the representatives of non-governmental organizations, international media, business and independent experts have also taken part. The Forum was opened by a welcoming speech of the Vice Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Baramidze. The Vice Prime Minister discussed the perspectives of development of cooperation within the framework of Eastern Partnership, important issues of Georgia-EU cooperation, ongoing reforms, existing problems and challenges in Georgia. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Nika Gilauri made a closing speech at the 1st EU-Eastern Partnership Economic Forum. Four parallel sessions were working in the Forum. At the first session-“Trade and Investment Opportunities in the Eastern Partnership Countries”- current condition of economic relations of Eastern Partnership countries with the European Union and its further deepening perspectives were discussed, including the issues related to negotiations for the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, as well as already introduced and prioritized directions of planned economic reforms in Eastern Partnership countries. At the second session-„Could the Eastern Partnership Contribute to Conflict Resolution in the Eastern Partnership Region?”- the necessity of peaceful conflict resolution in the Eastern Partnership region and the perspectives of enhanced role of the EU in this regard were discussed. At the third session–“Visa Liberalization and Mobility”- the perspectives of further visa liberalization for mobility between the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU were discussed, as well as the issues for facilitating legal migration and fighting against illegal migration. At the fourth session- “Modern Education as a Vehicle for Development of the Eastern Partnership Countries”- current reforms of “Eastern Partnership” countries in educational sphere, further deepening of cooperation with the EU in the field of education and science, and the perspectives of participation of regional countries in EU programs were considered. The meeting between the representatives of Polish business circles and Georgian National Investment Agency was also held within the framework of forum. 23/03/2012 http://eu-integration.gov.ge/index.php?que=eng/news&info=662 PAGE 5

  6. GEORGIAN BULLETIN February-March 2012 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge The President of Georgia addressed the participants of the second Nuclear Security Summit The second Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul on 26 and 27 March 2012 brought together delegations from 59 countries and representatives of various international organizations. The Georgian delegation, which was led by the President of Georgia, Mr. Mikheil Saakashvili, consisted of the Foreign Minister, Mr. Grigol Vashadze, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Alexander Khetaguri, and the Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council, Mr. Batu Kutelia. The Summit participants discussed the question of nuclear non-proliferation, the safeguarding of radioactive materials, nuclear security, and the development of relevant infrastructure. The President of Georgia, Mr. Mikheil Saakashvili addressed the participants attending the Nuclear Security Summit stressing the urgency of addressing nuclear security as well as focusing a large part of the speech on the issue of Russian occupation The Head of State called on the sides to deepen cooperation and double their efforts in terms of enhancing nuclear and radioactive security opportunities. He also spoke about the ongoing threats coming from the occupied territories of Georgia - Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region because of the absence of international monitoring in these enclaves. The President of Georgia called on the world leaders to activate the international mechanisms more intensively in order to avoid these threats. After the end of the plenary session the leaders gathered in Seoul to issue a joint communiqué.. 27/03/2012 http://president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News/Releases/?7423 The ninth plenary session on the Negotiations of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement was held in Tbilisi The ninth plenary session of negotiations for the elaboration of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement was held in Tbilisi on 28 March 2012. At the plenary session the sides discussed the Preamble of the Agreement; Political Dialogue and Reform, Cooperation on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP); Justice, Freedom and Security (JFS) Institutional, General and Final Provisions. The sides took stock of the progress achieved within the Working Group 3 (Financial, Economic and Sectoral Co-operation), and the results of the negotiations on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. The Georgian delegation was led by Mr. Tornike Gordadze, chief negotiator from the Georgian side, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Georgian delegation consisted of representatives of the relevant line Ministries. The European side was led by its chief negotiator Mr. Gunnar Wiegand, the Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia, European External Action Service. The future Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union will replace the current EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation agreement and provides for the significant strengthening of relations between Georgia and the European Union and developing cooperation at a new, qualitatively higher level. This Agreement will give Georgia the possibility of political association and gradual economic integration with the European Union. The DCFTA is an important component of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. A deep and comprehensive free trade area will help Georgia become more competitive and enjoy the benefits of the EU market, and will also ensure the country's economic integration with the European Union. 29/03/2012 http://mfa.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=30&info_id=14982 PAGE 6