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  1. GEORGIANBULLETIN Monthly Issue November 2011 Embassy of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of LuxembourgMission of Georgia to the European Union www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge • European Parliament adopted a Resolution on Georgia • President of Georgia met with Catherine Ashton • The President of Georgia met with the NATO Secretary General • Signature of an Agreement between the Government of Georgia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the basic principles for a Mechanism of customs administration and monitoring of trade in goods European Parliament adopted a Resolution on Georgia European Parliament adopted on November 17, a resolution calling on the European Union to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “occupied territories”, hailing Georgia’s “significant progress” in democratic reforms and also calling on the authorities “to further develop a democratic environment for freedom of speech.” The resolution is based on a report by Polish MEP Krzysztof Lisek from the group of the European People's Party and contains set of recommendations to EU’s key institutions, including its diplomatic service, European External Action Service (EEAS), on the negotiations of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. The resolution covers areas ranging from Georgia-Russia conflict to economy, human rights and democracy. The resolution recommends key EU institutions to “recognise Georgia’s regions of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia as occupied territories.” It also recommends European Council, European Commission and EEAS for intensifying talks with Russia “to ensure that it fulfils unconditionally” all the provisions of the August 12, 2008 ceasefire and also to call on Russia “to reverse its recognition” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and “to end the occupation of those Georgian territories.” The November 17 resolution of the European Parliament also notes that “ethnic cleansing and forcible demographic changes have taken place in the areas under the effective control of the occupying force.” AGENDA 17/11/2011 European Parliament adopted a Resolution on Georgia 16/11/2011 President of Georgia met with Catherine Ashton 18/11/2011 The President of Georgia met with the Vice President of the European Commission - European Commissioner for Transport  10/11/2011 The President of Georgia met with the NATO Secretary General 9/11/2011 Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the Signature of an Agreement between the Government of Georgia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the basic principles for a Mechanism of customs administration and monitoring of trade in goods 8/11/2011 Visit of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia to Brussels PAGE 1

  2. GEORGIAN BULLETIN NOVEMBER 2011 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge Welcoming the Russia-Georgia WTO deal, the resolution recommends the key EU institutions to call on Georgia and Russia “to engage in direct talks, without preconditions” on other issues as well, with mediation if needed. It also says that such talks “should complement, not replace, the existing Geneva process.” The resolution expresses concern over the terrorist attacks in Georgia – reference to series of blasts in Georgia which Tbilisi said were masterminded by a Russian military officer based in Abkhazia. The resolution calls on Georgia and Russia to cooperate in investigating those cases and also “to de-escalate rhetoric about bombings.” The resolution says that Georgia has made a “significant progress… in the areas of democratic reforms.” It, however, also recommends the key EU institutions to call on the Georgian authorities “to enter more extensively into a constructive political dialogue with opposition forces and further develop a democratic environment for freedom of speech, especially the accessibility of public media for all political parties.” It says that democracy, the rule of law and human rights “are essential” to take negotiating process on Association Agreement forward.“Georgia is one of the best-performing partners of the Eastern Partnership in adopting reforms, although problems still persist as regards their implementation,” the resolution reads. “Further improvement is needed regarding reforms in the justice system, and labour rights, women’s rights and integration of minorities.” It also notes the need “to further improve the physical conditions in prisons and detention centers.” The resolution calls in the EU institutions to “recognize Georgia as a European state” and to base ongoing negotiations with Georgia on a European perspective. It says that talks on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement should start as soon as possible. The resolution welcomes law, adopted by the Georgian Parliament this summer, on the registration of religious organizations and “affirmative action measures adopted by the Georgian government in the field of education, aiming at a better integration of national minorities.”  The resolution also calls on the EU institutions to encourage the Georgian authorities to adopt and implement effective anti-discrimination legislation, including provisions against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Photo - European Parliament website Full text of the publication available at http://civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24156 President of Georgia met with Catherine Ashton The President of Georgia met with the European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – Baroness Catherine Ashton, who has arrived in Georgia within the scope of a regional visit. Mikheil Saakashvili and Catherine Ashton discussed the recent successes achieved by Georgian diplomacy at the Presidential Palace. They also talked about the free and dense economic cooperation of Georgia and the EU and future prospects of establishing a visa free regime. During the joint briefing held after the meeting, Mikheil Saakashvili thanked Catherine Ashton for the policies of the European Union in the direction of defending the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, and for the support that the EU is giving Georgia in the process of integration into international organizations. During the meeting, Catherine Ashton drew attention to the agreement reached regarding the membership of Russia in the WTO and called it a progressive step from the Georgian side. Ashton also talked about not only the relationships of Georgia with the countries of the region, but with the entire world as well. This is Catherine Ashton’s second visit to Georgia. Within the scope of her first visit in July 2010, the President of Georgia and the High Representative of the European Union officially opened the Georgian-EU negotiations regarding the association treaty. 11/16/2011 http://www.president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News/MeetingsAndVisits?p=7115&i=1 PAGE 2

  3. GEORGIAN BULLETIN NOVEMBER 2011 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge Key issues in EU-Georgia relations are moving forward, says Ashton The key issues in EU-Georgia relations are coming to fruition and moving forward, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said today in Tbilisi after her meeting with President Saakashvili. Trade is of enormous importance to the Georgian people and to the Europeans, she said, expressing confidence that the negotiations on establishing a Deep and Comprehensive Trade Area (DCFTA) should start soon. In her remarks, Catherine Ashton paid tribute to the Georgian President and the people of Georgia for having negotiated a position in Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization. “You have put a huge amount of effort into this issue and I congratulate you for the way in which this has been done,” said Ashton, adding: “I think it will be to your benefit and of course also a benefit from the perspective of the European Union - being able to see Russia as part of the WTO opens up opportunities for us to develop trade relations that will be of great benefit for us all.” The High Representative also expressed hope that significant progress would be made in the next few months on visa liberalization, following the conclusion of the technical discussion on this issue. In Tbilisi, Ashton also met the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia, Ambassador Andrzej Tyszkiewicz. The High Representative was briefed on the general situation in Georgia, as well as the current activities and challenges of the Mission. Ambassador Tyszkiewicz highlighted the Mission’s role in contributing to stabilization, normalization and confidence-building. He updated Catherine Ashton on recent Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism and bilateral meetings with the Russian FSB border guards. (ENPI Info Centre) 17/11/2011 http://www.enpi-info.eu/eastportal/news/latest/27093/Key-issues-in-EU-Georgia-relations-are-moving-forward,-says-Ashton The President of Georgia met with the Vice President of the European Commission - European Commissioner for Transport  The President of Georgia met with the Vice President of the European Commission - European Commissioner for Transport – Siim Kallas today.  The sides discussed the projects planned in the transport sphere within the scope of future relations. They also focused attention on the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Georgia and integration of the country in Trans-European transport systems. “I know that you intensively cooperate with Vera Kobalia on transport issues. We have improved many things in this direction. The Minister of Economic Development has taken all of your suggestions into consideration. We have support on every issue regarding the Council of Europe and the European Union. Catherine Ashton was here two days ago, and before her Nicolas Sarkozy visited Georgia, who passed a historical resolution regarding Georgia and all of this is creating an extremely good atmosphere for us.” – noted Mikheil Saakashvili while talking with Siim Kallas. The Vice President of the European Commission also talked about the important progress of Georgia in this direction and noted that in this sense, Georgia is exemplary among the Eastern Partnership countries. The sides also discussed plans of future development within the scope of the modern transport sphere, in compliance with international standards. “Georgia is a leader among the states of the Eastern Partnership. Air traffic is extremely important among the transport issues. In this sense we have already begun negotiations with Ukraine and Azerbaijan. It is necessary to follow international norms in terms of aviation. Everything is going according to the plan and I think Georgia will acquire a new certificate soon” – stated the Vice President of the European Commission. Mikheil Saakashvili also noted that it is necessary to cooperate in terms of sea transportation. According to him, Georgia has 18,000 sailors, who must be able to find jobs. The Minister of Economic Development of Georgia –Vera Kobalia and the Representative of the European Union in Georgia – Philip Dimitrov also attended the meeting. 18/11/2011 http://www.president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News/MeetingsAndVisits?7122 PAGE 3

  4. GEORGIAN BULLETIN NOVEMBER 2011 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge The President of Georgia met with the NATO Secretary General The President of Georgia met with the NATO Secretary General in Batumi today. The sides stressed that the successful reforms implemented recently have brought our country even closer to NATO. During the meeting the NATO Secretary General positively assessed not only the reforms implemented in the defence and security spheres, but the ongoing democratic proceses in Georgia as well. Anders Fogh Rasmussen uniformly stated that the alliance has good instruments of interacting with Georgia that will also be used effectively in the future. He once again reaffirmed NATO’s support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. According to him, the policy of NATO towards Georgia has not changed and it welcomes the aspiration of Georgia to the membership in the alliance. He reiterated the point, he made during the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 as well as during the following summits, that Georgia will become a member of the alliance. The NATO Secretary General thanked the Georgian side for participation and contribution in the peaceful mission in Afghanistan. According to him, Georgia has the most numerous representation in Afghanistan among NATO non-member states, which Anders Fogh Rasmussen considers an important factor. The Secretary General congratulated the President on reaching the agreement regarding the membership of Russia into the WTO and called it one more successful step for Georgia. 10/11/2011 http://www.president.gov.ge/en/PressOffice/News/MeetingsAndVisits?p=7101&i=1 Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the Signature of an Agreement between the Government of Georgia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the basic principles for a Mechanism of customs administration and monitoring of trade in goods On 9 November 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland, the Government of Georgia and the Government of the Russian Federation, signed a package of documents in the framework of negotiations on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), mediated by the Swiss Confederation. First, the Government of Georgia and the Government of the Russian Federation signed a bilateral agreement on the basic principles for a Mechanism of customs administration and monitoring of trade in goods. Second, as foreseen in the agreement, relevant Memoranda of Understanding were signed to affirm the role of the Government of the Swiss Confederation as the neutral third Party, who among other responsibilities, selects and mandates international monitors and to whom the monitors will be accountable. Third, all three parties, Georgia, Russia and Switzerland, exchanged documents to define the terms of reference for an internationally established neutral private company, which will be accountable to and mandated by the Government of Switzerland in the conduct of monitoring. The Terms of Reference provides for the conditions of a permissive environment for international monitoring. The terms of reference, inter alia, establishes that no monitor can be a citizen of Russia or Georgia and provides for the freedom of movement of the monitors in the implementation of their mandate. With this package of documents, Georgia and Russia have agreed to establish a mechanism of customs administration and monitoring of trade in goods consisting of an International Monitoring System (IMS) and an Electronic Data Exchange System (EDES).  The IMS provides for the physical presence of international monitors during checking of documentation and records at all customs procedures, during physical examination of goods and checking of suspicious cargo. The monitors will also oversee that electronic seals and GPS/GPRS tracking systems are placed on all trade cargo. The EDES provides a common electronic data exchange platform, giving access to information on all customs and trade transactions to international monitors and allowing them through advanced cargo information to conduct risk management and auditing. PAGE 4

  5. GEORGIAN BULLETIN NOVEMBER 2011 www.belgium.mfa.gov.ge This agreement is an important achievement for Georgia as it enables for the international monitoring of trade between Russia and the whole territory of Georgia, including Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia. The agreement reflects all elements of monitoring that Georgia has demanded since the onset of the negotiations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is pleased that after a period of hesitation and reflection, the Russian Federation agreed to the proposal of the Swiss Confederation, in the form it was accepted by Georgia on 27 October 2011.   With the successful completion of the negotiations, the focus now turns to the effective implementation of the agreement. The Government of Georgia expresses its sincere gratitude to the Government of the Swiss Confederation for their tireless efforts in negotiating the agreement and for their commitment to the implementation of the reached agreement as emphasized by their willingness to act as the neutral third Party. Georgia expresses its hope that the signature of this agreement will open opportunities for Russia to approach other difficulties in our bilateral relations based on principles of international law and to engage in negotiations allowing the generation of mutually beneficial solutions.   9/11/2011 http://www.mfa.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=59&info_id=14464 Visit of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia to Brussels On November 7, 2011 within the frames of the visit to Brussels Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Mr. Ivane Merabishvili met with European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ms. Cecilia Malström. During the meeting were discussed the reforms, Georgian successful experience in fight against organized crime and measures undertaken for the implementation of the Readmission Agreement between EU and Georgia. During the meeting were also discussed Georgia’s perspectives with regards to visa liberalization between EU and Georgia.  8/11/2011 http://www.police.ge/index.php?m=8&newsid=2936 PAGE 5