ISSUE #753


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13.02.15 - 19.02.15



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US Secretary of State to Visit Georgia

Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Tamar Beruchashvili has stated that US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to visit Georgia, though the exact date and duration of the visit is yet to be confirmed. It is said that the US Secretary will attend the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter in Tbilisi. Kerry was invited to Georgia by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze during a meeting in Brussels.

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Hungary Supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has concluded a two-day visit to his Hungarian counterpart, Viktor Orban. Special attention was paid to prospects of deepening trade and economic relations between the two countries, as well as to regional energy issues, markets and transit opportunities. Discussions were also held on the issue of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

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NATO-Georgia Commission Meets in Brussels

Author: Joseph Larsen

On February 4, Georgian Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze traveled to Brussels to meet with defense ministers from several NATO member states. The ministers attended the NATO-Georgia Commission, a forum for discussing Georgia’s progress in moving closer to the alliance and benefiting from the Substantial Package, a group of benefits pledged to the country during the Wales Summit in September 2014.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was optimistic about Georgia’s implementation of domestic reforms connected to the Substantial Package. In a joint statement released after the Commission, the alliance lauded “the positive trends in Georgia’s democratic development,” while also calling on the non-NATO partner state “to continue implementation of reforms, including consolidating democratic institutions, taking forward judicial reforms, and ensuring full respect for the rule of law.”

The Substantial Package includes the sending of a permanent team of NATO advisors to assist the Georgian Ministry of Defense, as well as the opening of a joint NATO-Georgia military training facility in Tbilisi. The Package could also include interoperability opportunities.

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Passport Dilemma for Georgians and Armenians in Javakheti

Author: Zaza Jgharkava

In the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of southern Georgia the passport issue has become something of a hot topic. When ethnic Armenians with dual citizenship received notification from the Ministry of Justice recently which cancelled their Georgian citizenship, they found themselves being forced to choose between keeping the citizenship of their historical homeland or permanently taking on that of the country to which they became citizens upon their application several years previously. For the 2009-2013 (June 30) period, the number of such citizens is 2380.

The situation in Samtskhe-Javakheti increased in intensity last year when the Georgian government tightened the visa policy about citizens of foreign countries and restricted the permitted period of presence in the country to 180 days. The government explained the stricter visa policy as a consequence of the signing of the Associaiton Agreement between the European Union and Georgia. However, before the signing of the Agreement, the Law on the Citizenship of Georgia already stated that a person should give up citizenship of Georgia when taking on another foreign citizenship. Thus, the passport dilemma in Javakheti has nothing to do with the EU Association Agreement and in fact began much further back.

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