On April 21, First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, visited Shindisi Memorial dedicated to the heroes who fell in the 2008 Russia-Georgia War.
Members of the Temporary Governmental Commission Addressing the Needs of Affected Communities in Villages along the Dividing Line have met with international partners and donor organizations.
The State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality spoke about the importance of the commission’s work and the assistance of the foreign partners. According to Mr. Paata Zakareishvili, the aim of the state authorities is to ensure that the local population living near the dividing line lives in a dignified condition, and also to enable those living on the other side of the dividing line to see how Georgia cares for its citizens, together with her partners.
First Deputy State Minister Mrs. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili made a detailed presentation for the meeting participants about the implemented activities of the Commission and the persistent needs.
"We have provided to the donors and international organizations the information about the activities the commission has already accomplished and also about the challenges and needs they might engage in for further solution", - Mr. Paata Zakareishvili declared to journalists.
According to Mr. Stephen Haykin, USAID Country Director, the meeting was useful.
"The United States Government is very committed to the territorial integrity of Georgia and we are active in providing support to this effort of the temporary commission for the effective communities through ongoing projects in such areas as irrigation and promotion of economic opportunities and small infrastructure works. We were very pleased with today’s meeting because it shows the commitment of the government, particularly, the state ministry for reconciliation and the ministry for regional development and infrastructure to open dialogue with the stakeholders and the donor community. The exchange of information was particularly useful today", - Mr. Stephen Haykin declared.
The State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mr. Paata Zakareishvili congratulates the Yezidis of Georgia on "Charshama Sarsale" celebration.
"Charshama Sarsale" is an important celebration for Yezidis and I would like to cordially congratulation all the Yezidi citizens of Georgia on this day. Let this year bring you success, wellbeing and wealth", - the State Minister remarked.
"Charshama Sarsale" is the ancient and most important celebration for Yezidi people and marks the start of a New Year.
The State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Mr. Paata Zakareishvili congratulates the Jewish citizens of Georgia on Passover (Pesach).
"I would like to congratulate you on one of these greatest celebrations, which marks the important event in the history of Jewish people - the freedom from Egyptian slavery. The Jewish citizens, their self-preservation, culture and religion is an indivisible part of our country, of its history and culture. Wish you peace and success", - the State Minister declared.
The First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality met with the representatives of the non-governmental organizations.
Ketevan Tsikhelashvili shared with the organizations working on conflict issues the information about the activities of the State Minister’s Office.
In particular, she reviewed the work of the Office in four basic directions: activities in frames of the State Strategy on Occupied Territories "Engagement through Cooperation", the development works carried out in the villages in the vicinity of the Dividing Line, the Geneva International Discussions process and civil integration.
"We regularly meet with NGOs and this format has become traditional for our Office. The aim of the meeting is to share information and to exchange opinions. We believe our policy should be pursued transparently, especially when it comes to the fields of conflict settlement and civil integration which require so much responsibility and sensible approach. Besides, I think that it is absolutely reasonable for any government to engage in communication and relations with the civil society. Lots of issues have mounted up for discussion especially after the Sochi Olympics and the unfolding developments in Ukraine. We should take note that signing of Association Agreement with the EU is ahead of us, and Georgia’s European integration is a key for conflict settlement", - Ketevan Tsikhelashvili stated.
The importance of the meeting was also underlined by the Head of Board of Defence and Security Council, Mrs. Teona Akubardia.
"This year it is the first meeting, although we, the non-governmental organizations hold meeting with the State Minister’s Office regularly. It is important to share our opinions about the Geneva Process, challenges and prospects ahead, in the period before the Association Agreement is signed", - Mrs. Teona Akubardia remarked.
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The rally/concert "We Choose Europe" was organized in Europe Square. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, First Deputy State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality attended the demonstration.
"I came here to join this event, as a citizen and as a member of the Government because we choose Europe. Europe is actually our future - it is peace, stability and one of keys for conflict settlement. The vision of our policy is the European future in a united Georgia. I came here also for showing my solidarity to my former colleagues, the National Platform, I was chairing earlier, and to all those NGOs who participate into this event", - Ketevan Tsikhelashvili declared to journalists.
The President of Georgia Mr. Giorgi Margvelashvili and the EU Ambassador Mr. Philip Dimitrov, have delivered speeches before the participants of the rally.
"This is the choice made not even by us - this is the choice made by our ancestors, who have created free Georgia, rooting spiritual freedom, acknowledgment of others and tolerance into the basic of our culture", - the President of Georgia declared.
The EU Ambassador wished the people "to maintain willingness to be the part of Europe and to stand up against all kinds of pressure that might be directed against this willingness."
The members of the Government of Georgia and representatives of the political parties attended the demonstration.
The concert was organized on April 13, by the Georgian Civil Society National Platform for the Eastern Partnership.
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