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  1. GEORGIANBULLETIN Monthly Issue April- May 2011 Embassy of Georgia to the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of LuxembourgMission of Georgia to the European Union • Georgia marks the 20th Anniversary of the Independence Day • The EPP Group organized a conference on the future of the EU-Georgia relations • Visit of the President of Switzerland Micheline Calmy-Rey • The President of Georgia met the President of European Parliament Jerzy Buzek AGENDA 26/05/11 Georgia marks the 20th Anniversary of the Independence Day 26/05/11 U.S. Secretary of State congratulates Georgia on Independence Day 19/04/11 The EPP Group organized a conference on the future of the EU-Georgia relations 29/05/11 Visit of the President of Switzerland MichelineCalmy-Rey 19/05/11 The President of Georgia met the President of European Parliament Jerzy Buzek 03/05/11 The President of Lithuania came to Tbilisi to pay a two-day official visit 13/05/11 The Czech Foreign Minister's visit to Georgia 25/05/11 The meeting of the EU-Georgia Cooperation Sub-committee on Trade, Economic and Related Legal Issues 25/05/11 Progress Reports on the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy 26/05/11 Press statement of the Government of Georgia on Illegal Actions taken by the demonstrators Georgia marks the 20th Anniversary of the Independence Day President of Georgia addressed the nation before the beginning of the military parade dedicated to the 20-th anniversary of the Independence of Georgia. Mikheil Saakashvili spoke about the opposition rallies, dispersal of the rally last night and the goals of the opposition leaders. “Our holy value is the freedom of speech and we`ll do everything that Georgian citizens, those who have legal demands or complaints, be allowed to express their opinion, express their protest towards the government of Georgia, but all that was going on in Tbilisi these days, had nothing common with the freedom of speech. These people, the political leaders together with their small groups of supporters wanted to attack freedom of speech and democracy in Georgia. They did not want the freedom of speech, but violence and casualties. We must be sober because these provocations are planned not inside, but outside the borders of our country. We will share all information to our people, we have obtained and the information is unfortunately, very unpleasant,` Saakashvili announced and called upon the people to observe minute silence for the memory of the people who died in the fight for the freedom of Georgia. PAGE 1

  2. GEORGIAN BULLETIN APRIL-MAY 2011 `When the leaders failed to get the number of casualties they had expected, they were the first running away from there and drove over the people and unfortunately, two people have died. I want to express my condolences to the family of the dead,` Saakashvili said. `I want to reiterate that we are all the children of Georgia, and the independence equally belongs to each of us. We equally bow down before our army and we`ll fight for our freedom, independence, dignity and for better future of our people to the last drop of blood. Nothing can disrupt this day, we`ll keep on fighting for our freedom, independence, democracy and the freedom of speech. We will never step back. We`ll be vigilant and give adequate response to any provocation of our occupant enemy,` president announced. The parade dedicated to the Day of Independence of Georgia started at 11:00 and was commanded by the Chief of Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Maj.-Gen. Devi Chankotadze. 26/05/11 U.S. Secretary of State congratulates Georgia on Independence Day U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has congratulated the Georgian people on the 20th anniversary of independence. Special statement has been released on the official website of the U.S. Department of State. "On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Georgia as you celebrate your Independence this May 26. "The United States and Georgia have built a vibrant partnership based on shared values and mutual interests. We are committed to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and we are helping Georgia strengthen democratic institutions. "Together, our two countries are promoting freedom around the world. We are especially grateful for Georgia’s commitment to the future of Afghanistan as our troops stand side by side on behalf of peace and security. "On this 20th anniversary of Georgia’s independence from the Soviet Union, we celebrate the bonds between our countries and people, and reaffirm our commitment to broadening and deepening this relationship. I wish all Georgians around the world a peaceful and prosperous year", the statement says. 26/05/11 Congratulations to the President of Georgia on Independence Day The leaders of friendly countries of Georgia congratulate the President of Georgia on Independence Day. MikheilSaakashvili received a warm card from Pope Benedict XVI - he wished the Georgia and its President blessings and welfare. "I ask God Georgia to build a firmer and more solid state that will be opened to the world and that will defend its cultural and religious traditions", the card says. The Emperor of Japan Akihito congratulated MikheilSaakashvili on the 20th anniversary of Georgia's independence. "It is great honor for me to congratulate you with all my heart on the day of Georgia's independence. Your Excellency I sincerely wish you happiness and I wish welfare to Georgian people". The President of the Republic of Croatia IvoJosipovic sent a congratulation card to his Georgian counterpart on behalf of the Croatian people and personally him and wished Georgian state prosperity. Quentin Bryce Governor-General of Australia sent an extended letter to the President of Georgia. She congratulates the President of Georgia and the Georgian people on behalf of the Australian people on Independence Day. She stressed her attention on the friendly relations between these two countries that gets deeper day-by-day. President of Portugal AníbalCavaco Silva wishes the President of Georgia and Georgian people welfare and success.   In the letter of the President of Poland BronislavKomarovski is underlined Georgia's and Poland's true partnership and constructive cooperation, and as the President of Poland says it is a good example of how two European countries can cooperate. MikheilSaakashvili received congratulations from former Soviet Republic leaders. Among them are the Presidents of Turkmenistan and Armenia.   PAGE 2

  3. GEORGIAN BULLETIN APRIL-MAY 2011 Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Aviation and the General Inspector wishes the President of Georgia health and happiness; and to the friendly Georgian nation permanent progress and prosperity. 26/05/11 Full text available at The EPP Group organized a conference on the future of the EU-Georgia relations on 19 April, 2011 in the European Parliament in Brussels. Gunnar Hökmark MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairman in charge of Enlargement and Neighbourhood, chaired the meeting which also featured Giorgi Baramidze, Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia and Zsolt Németh, Hungarian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. The Members of the European Parliament, together with the experts from the region, focused on developments in Georgia and on the Eastern Partnership as an instrument for strengthening stability in the region. "Georgia is an important partner for the European Union. In the context of the Eastern European Neighbourhood Policy and also of the Eastern Partnership we see its importance growing. No one could possibly question that Georgia's place is alongside European democracies," said Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, at the opening of the Conference on the Future of EU-Georgia Relations. He spoke about democratic changes and European assistance in this process, the importance of mutual contact between societies, enhanced economic cooperation and a need for clearer European visibility in the South Caucasus. "Europe has the ambitions to play a major role on the world stage, therefore it must assume its responsibility and ensure peace and stability in the South Caucasus.""The world is changing and Europe needs to support new democracies. The European Union has a historical responsibility to assist in strengthening democracy and open society. This applies to the change in Northern Africa but just as much to the nations of the Eastern European Neighbourhood. The European Neighbourhood Policy has to be decisive and credible and the EU must support Georgia in its struggle for independence and safeguarding democracy," said Gunnar Hökmark MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy. "We need to focus on strengthening prosperity, stability and security, which could be achieved by concluding the Free Trade Agreement, future visa liberalisation and the development of stable institutions and a strong civil society. The establishment of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly is an important step in establishing an open and structured common framework for developing the partnership and making a closer integration real," concluded Gunnar Hökmark. ---------- After the conference, a reception was held in the European Parliament on behalf of the First Lady of Georgia, Mrs. Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs during the reception, Sandra Roelofs addressed to the guests. The First Lady noted that Georgia is a part of a large European family and she is proud of it. During the reception in the European Parliament, Georgian ensemble "Rustavi” performed. "Rustavi” specially arrived to Brussels for this day. PAGE 3

  4. GEORGIAN BULLETIN APRIL-MAY 2011 Visit of the President of Switzerland Micheline Calmy-Rey The President of Switzerland Micheline Calmy-Rey paid an official visit to Georgia today. After an official welcoming ceremony the Presidents met one another in tete-a-tete format. The major topics of discussion were bilateral relations and Georgia's occupied territories. After the termination of diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia Switzerland plays a role of mediator between the two countries. During the tete-a-tete meeting between Mikheil Saakashvili and Micheline Calmy-Ray the special attention was paid to the issue of strengthening the role of Switzerland as a mediator.   Within the frames of two-day visit the President of Switzerland will hold meetings with different members of Government of Georgia.  29/05/2011 The President of Georgia met the President of European Parliament Jerzy Buzek The President of Georgia hosted the President of European Parliament Jerzy Buzek. During the tete-a-tete meeting Jerzy Buzek once again expressed support towards Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty on the behalf of EU and condemned the fact that Russian forces still remain on Georgian territory. The leaders as well discussed the reforms carried out in Georgia. The President of European Parliament underlined the fact that first stage of reforms finished successfully and that the second stage will be carried out with the same success and tempo as the first one. After a tete-a-tete meeting Mikheil Saakasvhili and Jerzy Buzek held the mutual press conference. 19/05/11 The President of Lithuania came to Tbilisi to pay a two-day official visit The President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė came to Georgia to pay an official visit. A tête-à-tête meeting was held after an official welcoming ceremony at the President's Palace. The major topic of discussion was deepening strategic partnership and economic relations between two countries, as well as Georgia's integration in Euro-Atlantic structures. During the meeting it was underlined that Lithuania still remains among those countries that maintain principle position on every key issues in Georgia's up-to-date history. The visit of the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė is of special importance in regards of Lithuania's Chairmanship of OSCE. Accordingly talks concerned Georgia and OSCE future cooperation, existing situation on occupied territories and Lithuania's role in regards of improving this situation. The necessity of return of OSCE Mission was underlined during the meeting. The President of Georgia familiarized his Lithuanian counterpart with the fulfilled and planned projects throughout the whole country. Later the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė laid a wreath on the memorial of Georgian heroes who fell dead in the war for the unity of Georgia. 03/05/11 PAGE 4

  5. GEORGIAN BULLETIN APRIL-MAY 2011 Statement by the President of Georgia H.E. Mikheil Saakashvili on the operation conducted by the United States that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda On this historic day of victory we remember the victims of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks, which have cost thousands of innocent lives. The successful operation conducted by the United States that killed Osama bin Laden - the leader of Al-Qaeda - is an important step forward in the fight against terrorism worldwide. However, despite this big victory, the fight continues and we believe that there is no alternative but for the justice to reign. This date marks a major victory of the American people, and  the U.S. leadership . This  once again proves the strength and resilience of the United States as a nation in global affairs and particularly in the fight against terror. Georgia, as one of the contributors to the international security strongly supports the efforts undertaken by the United States in this fight. The Czech Foreign Minister's visit to Georgia On 12-13 May 2011, the Czech Foreign Minister, Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg, paid an official visit to Georgia. During his visit, Mr. Schwarzenberg met his Georgian counterpart, Mr. Grigol Vashadze. The Head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry thanked the Czech government for its active support for Georgia's territorial integrity and for Georgia's integration into bilateral and multilateral European and Euro-Atlantic structures, as well as for taking part in the EUMM. During their meeting, the two ministers discussed a wide range of issues concerning bilateral political and economic relations, priority co-operation between Georgia and the EU and Georgia's progress so far. The two also focused on the current situation in Georgia's occupied territories as well as on topical regional and international issues. The official meeting was followed by a joint press-conference. The official Czech delegation also included the Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Ms. Milan Hovorka, and the Czech businessmen who will take part in the Georgian-Czech business forum organized by Georgia's Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. The Czech Foreign Minister laid a wreath by the memorial to those who lost their lives for Georgia's unity. 13/05/11 Full text available at Information regarding the visit of the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Georgia On 6 May 2011, the Latvian Foreign Minister, Mr. Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, paid an official visit to Georgia, during which he met his Georgian counterpart, Mr. Grigol Vashadze. The two discussed the prospects of enhancing existing bilateral relations between Georgia and Latvia and the importance of Latvia's support for Georgia's integration into bilateral and multilateral European and Euro-Atlantic structures. The two ministers also considered the current situation in the region, and held a joint press conference after their meeting. 06/05/11 PAGE 5

  6. GEORGIAN BULLETIN APRIL-MAY 2011 The meeting of the EU-Georgia Cooperation Sub-committee on Trade, Economic and Related Legal Issues The 10th meeting of the EU-Georgia Cooperation Sub-committee on Trade, Economic and Related Legal Issues was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, on 25 May, 2011. At the meeting the participants discussed reforms and measures provided by the Government of Georgia in the fields of economy and trade, including macroeconomic development, investment promotion, taxation and customs cooperation. Particular attention was focused on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement related issues.The sides also discussed future activities and possible support of the EU assistance programs. 25/05/2011 Information regarding the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) held on 5 May 2011 in connection with acts of terror committed in Georgia A meeting of the Political and Partnership Committee of the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) was held at NATO headquarters on 5 May 2011. During this meeting, the Director of the Analytical Department of the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr. Shota Utiashvili, provided the Allies with detailed information on the facts resulting from the investigation into the acts of terror committed in Georgia. It was underlined that evidence obtained as a result of the investigation directly indicates that Georgia's occupied territories were used for preparing and carrying out of these acts of terror. The fight against terrorism is a sphere in which the enhancement of co-operation between Georgia and NATO is important. 05/05/11 26/05/11 Progress Reports on the Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy were published on 25 May, 2011 Georgia OVERALL ASSESSMENT “In 2010, the EU and Georgia held meetings of the Cooperation Council, the Cooperation Committee, and subcommittees on trade, economic and related legal issues and on justice, liberty and security issues, plus one round of the EU-Georgia dialogue on Human Rights. The EU and Georgia agreed to move forward with deepening and broadening EU-Georgia relations within the Eastern Partnership (EaP) framework. Negotiations on an EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA) were launched in July 2010. The negotiations progressed at a good pace in the second half of 2010. This Agreement is conceived by both Parties as illustrating the most advance and ambitious approach to the Eastern Partnership vision of association, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and a comprehensive programme of approximation to EU acquis. Negotiations on a DCFTA will start, in the same framework, once the necessary conditions have been met. Georgia made progress in implementing key recommendations in areas of technical barriers to trade, food safety, competition and intellectual property rights. Georgia also initiated work to build the necessary institutional capacity for the trade negotiation process. Overall, Georgia made progress in the implementation of the ENP AP priorities throughout 2010, especially in reforming the justice system, improving the conduct of elections, increasing women’s rights, carrying out constitutional reform, reforms in trade and business related areas, and regional development, as well as substantially curbing administrative corruption. One of the major achievements was the entry into force of the new criminal procedure code in October 2010. Georgian authorities worked intensively to ensure the new code was successfully implemented. Continuing these efforts and effectively implementing the legislation will be key to ensuring its long-term success. PAGE 6

  7. GEORGIAN BULLETIN APRIL-MAY 2011 After the double shock of military conflict with Russia in August 2008 and the global economic crisis, in 2010 the Georgian economy showed signs of recovery. In line with its commitments in the ENP AP and with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Stand-By Arrangement, the country preserved a prudent fiscal and monetary policy stance and made progress in increasing exchange rate flexibility. Limited recovery in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, however, meant Georgia’s external position remained vulnerable given the need to finance the large current account deficit. The country is still dependent on external official financing. The EU continued to lend full support to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and to a peaceful resolution of the existing conflicts. The EU continued to fully implements its postwar assistance pledge of up to EUR 500 million as announced n the October 2008 donors’ conference. The Geneva International Discussion continued as the single forum for structured dialogue between the parties to the conflict. The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), as the only agree international presence on the ground, continued its efforts in support of a stabilisation of the security situation. However, it was unable to carry out its mandate in the whole territory of Georgia given that it was prevented from getting access to the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The start of the implementation of the Government of Georgia’s “State Strategy on Occupied Territories: Engagement through Cooperation” did not lead to a fundamental change of the situation. Throughout 2010 the EU continued to remind Russia of its commitments under the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement with Georgia on 12 August 2008 and the implementation plan of 8 September, which have not yet been fulfilled. Full text available at GOVERNMENT OF GEORGIA Press StatementGovernment Response to Illegal Actions by Demonstrators on May 26, 2011 TBILISI, May 26, 2011—The series of protests in Tbilisi organized by radical elements in opposition parties were sanctioned by Tbilisi City Hall to run from May 21 through May 25. The protests remained largely peaceful, despite calls by radical leaders to overthrow the Government. Mainstream opposition parties did not support the protests. Throughout the five days of protests, the Government has been committed to doing everything possible to enable demonstrators to freely exercise their democratic rights of assembly and expression, while protecting the safety of all citizens and safeguarding the civil liberties of all those who choose to demonstrate. However, on May 25, at 3:00 pm, up to 3,000 demonstrators marched from Kostava Street—where they had been blocking access to the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s building since May 21—towards Rustaveli Avenue, the city’s central traffic artery. The protesters then positioned themselves in front of Parliament and announced that they would stay there beyond the May 25 deadline. They thus intended to illegally occupy the area that will be used on May 26 for the official celebrations of Georgia’s Independence Day. The protesters blocked Rustaveli Avenue with steel cables and a trailer truck. Many demonstrators, carrying truncheons and wearing masks, continued to act very aggressively, including towards passers-by and media representatives. A Ministry of Internal Affairs video recording, released at 5:00 pm on May 25, showed demonstrators in the act of planning to violently resist the police and use “Molotov cocktails” in order to set fire to police vehicles. Tbilisi City Hall, in an official statement released at 8:00 pm on May 25, requested that the protest organizers move the demonstration to another area and offered them several alternative venues, so that they would not disrupt the Independence Day celebrations (including a military parade). But the radical leaders refused. Later, at 11:30 pm, a City Hall representative approached the protest organizers to personally ask them to fulfill City Hall’s legitimate and legal request—making clear that after 12:00 am on May 26, the rally would be considered illegal. Unfortunately, the organizers again refused to comply this legitimate legal request and several hundred protesters remained in front of Parliament. Therefore, the police—in order to maintain public order and in full compliance with the law—were compelled to use the minimal force needed to remove the protesters from the area in front of Parliament where the parade will be held. Before taking action very early on the morning of May 26th, the police repeatedly warned the protesters and urged them to peacefully leave the area. At about 12:10 pm, the police had to use legitimate force to clear Rustaveli Avenue and the area around the Parliament. PAGE 7

  8. GEORGIAN BULLETIN APRIL-MAY 2011 In a few cases, the police were compelled to use water cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse groups of violent demonstrators. A number of protesters were detained for resisting the police. At the same time, several of the protest organizers hastened to leave the area, driving away at high speed in their cars. At least one of these cars struck a police officer, killing him. In addition, 19 people in total have been hospitalized; fortunately, none of them are in serious condition. Meanwhile, traffic on Rustaveli Avenue has been restored. The Government of Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia fully respect the freedom of expression and assembly of the Georgian people; however these freedoms must be exercised within the boundaries of Georgian law and international standards. The Government remains fully committed to allowing freedom of assembly and expression within the boundaries of the law. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia 26-27/05/11 Georgia joins Viking international freight transportation project Georgia will soon officially become the member of the Viking international freight transportation project. The relevant agreement was achieved by Georgia`s Economy and Lithuania`s Transport and Communications Ministers in Berlin. The project intends freight transportation development on the Baltic Region-the Black Sea route. It was launched in May 2008. The route has 1,753 km. As expected, Georgia`s involvement in the project would significantly increase freight transportation in Georgia`s ports as well as on railway lines. Georgia`s Economy Minister Vera Kobalia met with her Lithuanian counterpart within the international transportation forum in Berlin. Development of transportation systems in Europe and Asia and Georgia`s better involvement in the process was discussed at the meeting. 29/05/11 PAGE 8