On February 10, the Georgian Parliamentary delegation headed by Giorgi Khelashvili, the first Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, attended the sitting of the 13th session of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM Parliamentary Assembly. The session held online was chaired by the Head of Milli Majlis delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly (PA).
Georgian Parliamentary Delegation participates in 13th session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly
By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, February 11
According to the statement released by the Parliament of Georgia, one of the main discussion topics was the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The sides emphasized that for the future economic and democratic development of the region, the conflict should be resolved peacefully.
The head of the Georgian delegation raised the difficult situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. As the statement notes, the conversation focused on the case of Zaza Gakhekadze, a Georgian citizen illegally detained by Russian-controlled occupation forces in Tskhinvali. Khelashvili underlined the aggressive actions, such as creeping occupation by the Russian Federation and noted that the mobilization of international support in this process is crucial, as the humanitarian as well as human rights situation in the occupied territories of Georgia are deteriorating daily.
During the session, the participants discussed the experience gathered in regard to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Khelashvili informed the colleagues about the epidemiological situation in Georgia and stressed that along with effective management of the pandemic, active operations are underway for economic rehabilitation.
According to the statement, members of the GUAM Observation Mission, who were observing 2020 parliamentary elections in Georgia, noted in the report presented to the assembly that the elections were conducted in line with the international democratic standards, in a free and fair environment, and fully reflected the will of Georgian society.
During the session, the parties emphasized sustainable cooperation between the GUAM Member States and highlighted the need to further strengthen and deepen the political, legal, trade, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation among the GUAM countries. It was noted that the potential of free trade and transport corridors between the GUAM countries needs to be exploited effectively. The talks also focused on intensifying cooperation with Baltic countries in specific directions.
The session was attended by parliamentary delegations of all GUAM member states (Azerbaijan, Georgia Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine), as well as the President of the Baltic Assembly, the Secretary-General of TURKPA, and the Secretary-General of PABSEC.
Per the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly, On the 1st of January 2021, Georgia took over the Chairmanship in Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM.