“We believe that we are on the right path and we are progressing in a permanent manner, we are developing”, - the Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze stated at the International Conference “World 2018 – Upside Down”.
He thanked the McCain Institute for organizing the event and expressed his support to the family of the Senator McCain and to American people.
“Senator Mccain was devoted friend of Georgia`s, very strong politician and very strong personality. And he was the best example which was demonstrating that you can really combine the political activities with strong moral principles. We hail senator Mccain for his contributions to global politics and for his contribution to the development of partnership between United States and our country”.
Georgia is developing the democratic system, developing our economic systems and developing the international ties, he noted.
“We are developing our democratic system, we are developing our economic systems and we are developing our international ties. We are improving our international positioning and again I believe that Georgia is on a right track. Despite very complex situation that is surrounding our country in the region but also globally, we are developing our democratic systems, we have achieved significant progress in terms of human rights protection”, - the Speaker stated noting the contribution of the Senator McCain in protection of human rights in Georgia.
“I would like to once again talk about senator Mccain and I would like to remember that he was very much vocal against the torture which happened in the Georgian prisons before 2012. And his contribution to the improvement of the human rights situation was also very important. His particular statement played a very important role in this regard. We have a very matching situation of human rights protection, in terms of judiciary. Judiciary is one of the topics where we get most criticism from the opposition, from different stakeholders, but even in the field of judiciary we have dramatic improvement, I would like to say. Which is evidenced by a statistical data, which is evidenced by different practical figures. In the field of media we have dramatic improvement. You remember what was the situation before 2012 - free media channels were fully underneath the previous government”.
He underlined that the country has the clear foreign political vision as reflected in the special Resolution and the Constitution of Georgia. 90% of the electors support pro-Western parties.
“Georgia has a very clear foreign policy vision. This vision was also reflected in a special parliamentary resolution. This resolution says that EU integration and NATO integration are the main priorities and goals of our country and these priorities where even reflected on the level of the constitution. We have now a special norm in the constitution which says that different constitutional bodies should do their best in order to promote Georgia`s western integration, Georgia`s integration with the EU and with the NATO. Which means that we have reflected this decision of the Georgian people now on the level of the basic law. This decision is not just the pragmatic decision, this is a value based decision not only of the government of Georgia, but firs of all Georgian people. This will is evidenced by different opinion polls, and this decision is also evidenced by electoral results. The election says that more than 90 % of Georgian voters support those political parties which are western, which is very important figure. This figure was more than 20 % 4 years ago, which means that with our consistent efforts, with our strong will to become the part of the European family of nations, euroatlantic family of nations, the support to the idea of the western integration further increases. That`s very important achievement of the new government”.
Cooperation with USA in this regards plays the crucial role as survival in a complicated region would be difficult without the US support.
“Again in this situation, the cooperation with the united states plays a very important role, a crucial role. It would be very difficult for us to survive in this very complex regional environment without United States support. That`s why we particularly appreciate the cooperation with our American friends and we very much appreciate the friendly attitude of our American friends to Georgia. We are very much enthusiastic to further strengthen this cooperation and partnership. We enjoy a very strong cooperation with the current united states administration and we will do our best to further strengthen this ties. We have a negotiations on a free trade agreement which will be a very important asset for us in terms of economic development but also politically, and we are hopeful that this decision will be finally made by our American friends, the Georgia support acts and the discussion in the Congress. Again, there is a very strong cooperation and we will of course build on this cooperation and further deepen it”.
The major challenge we encounter is occupation of two historical regions of our country, he noted underlining that clear policy with Russia is important. “Our major challenge is related to Russia and implies occupation of our historical regions. Naturally, cooperation with our Western friends plays the crucial role. We know that solution of this problem is impossible in the short-term run, is possible in the mid-term run, though we believe that we will ultimately solve our major national problem supported by our Western partners and through our pragmatic policy. Now, we undertake the pragmatic policy towards Russia that was widely supported by our Western friends. As a result of our pragmatic policy we have significantly improved the stability and security in the country and it is one of the achievements of our Government”.
We also encounter Russian anti-Western propaganda challenges, which requires establishment of the strategic communication center along with Ukraine and Moldova.
“We encounter the challenges related to Russian anti-Western propaganda. Naturally, we shall respond to these challenges. In the Parliament we are doing it by means of the legislative changes. The situation is improved and I have mentioned the election outcomes in this context. Though, we shall be careful and apply the new instruments against this problem. We have recently held the negotiations with our Moldovan and Ukrainian friends. We plan to establish the strategic communications center to address the propaganda and to respond to these challenges”.
The Speaker spoke about effective cooperation with the neighboring states.
“Cooperation with the neighbors is important for us and we enjoy effective cooperation with all our neighbors and Russian Federation is an exception of course. We effectively cooperate with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. We cherish the peacekeeping pragmatic vision allowing us improving not only stability and security of our country but contributing in the regional stability and security. We also participate in various missions worldwide”.
He touched upon importance of development of economy.
“We shall develop our economy, as it is one of the important aspects of development of the nation. The weak economy means vulnerability of the country on the international and domestic levels. Now, GPD per capita constitutes about 4500 USD. We will accomplish 2018 with 4800 USD, which is a low index compared to the poorest EU states. Thus, we shall accelerate economic development. It is as well noteworthy that the large states around Georgia encounter the economic problems. Against this background, provision of economic support by the Western partners is particularly important for Georgia. Without rapid economic development we will encounter much more challenges. Naturally, we cherish the ambitious economic development plan, though it would be hard to accomplish without the Western support. We believe that we are on the right path and will achieve our goals with Western support”.