GFSIS http://cbgl.gfsis.org/ Georgian Foundation For Strategic and International Studies - events. Online Registration for the 4TH SOUTH CAUCASUS SECURITY FORUM http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/686 It is our great pleasure to open an online registration for the 4TH SOUTH CAUCASUS SECURITY FORUM, jointly organized by the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) and the Strategic Policy Institute STRATPOL (Slovakia). The conference will be held on April 20-21, 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Conducted since 2013, the Forum became one of the top international security platforms in the South Caucasus, bringing together experts from the region and wider EuropeThe South Caucasus Security Forum has proved to have a serious impact on the level of security debates in the region. It is a main forum for decision-makers, academics, think-tank representatives, experts and media representatives to discuss the most challenging issues of the broader region. Among the strategic supporters of the 4th South Caucasus Security Forum are the International Visegrad Fund (IVF). For registration please click here. Sat, 29 Apr 2017 0:00:00 GMT Discussion with Dr. Theresa Sabonis-Helf on being a Transit State http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/687 On March 23, 2017 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) hosted a discussion "Who Wants to be a Transit State? The advantages and disadvantages of Georgia's growing role in regional energy transit". The presentation was delivered by Dr. Theresa Sabonis-Helf, Professor at National War College, Washington D.C. Dr. Ekaterine Metreveli, President of the Rondeli Foundation made the welcoming remarks and introduced the distinguished speaker to the audience. Dr. Theresa Sabonis-Helf discussed the main advantages and disadvantages of the energy transit state, the opportunities of Georgia’s energy cooperation with the countries of wider region as well as overviewed the current state of the energy security of Georgia. The speaker also talked about the importance of the role of Azerbaijan in Georgia’s energy policy. The presentation was followed by an ardent Q&A session. The discussion was attended by the representatives of civil society, academic community, governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as the diplomatic corps. Watch the video about the discussion. Fri, 24 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT Graduation Ceremony of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Leadership Program http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/685 On March 22, 2017 the Georgian Foundation for strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) hosted a graduation ceremony for the class 2016-2017 of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Leadership Program. The key-note speakers at the ceremony included Dr. Ekaterine Metreveli, President of the Rondeli Foundation, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Georgia H.E. Zeki Levent Gümrükçü and Mr. Husein Sanli, Head of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). The speakers congratulated the program participants on successful graduation and handed over the certificates. In the framework of one year long course, overall 27 public servants, journalists and young researchers went through theoretical and practical seminars delivered by the Foundation in-house and invited speakers on the topics of diplomacy, foreign policy, national security, strategy, economy, information warfare, etc. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Leadership Program was initiated in 2013. The Project aims at building and strengthening leadership skills amongst the junior and mid level public servants of Georgia. In addition, it also supports the further development of Georgian-Turkish partnership. The Project is implemented by the Rondeli Foundation, with the financial support of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). Thu, 23 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT Awareness-raising Seminars in Guria and Mountaneous Adjara http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/684 On March 20-21, 2017 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) with the support of the Resource Centers of Chokhatauri and Khulo Municipalities organized the series of seminars on Nation-wide issues for the local youth in Zoti and Khulo. After an introduction delivered by the President of the Foundation Dr. Ekaterine Metreveli, the seminars on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration as well as on economic development of the country, were delivered by Kakha Gogolashvili, the Director of the EU Studies Center and Prof. Vladimer Papava, the Director of the Center for Applied Economic Studies at Rondeli Foundation. The events were held under the framework of the project "Raising Awareness of Youth Representing Religious Minority Community of Georgia on the Issues of Euro-Atlantic Integration" that aims to equip the local youth with necessary and objective information on the foreign policy priorities and Euro-Atlantic direction of the country, as well as to demonstrate short and long-term economic and social effects of integration with the West. The project is implemented by the Rondeli Foundation with the financial support of the NATO Liaison Office (NLO) Georgia and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Wed, 22 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT Study Visit to Tallinn, Estonia http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/682 On March 13-17, 2017 the study visit for Georgian public servants in Negotiation Techniques and EU Integration under the framework of the program "Capacity – Building of the Georgian Leadership Community for Improved Decision-Making and Negotiation Skills" was held in Tallinn, Estonia. In total, 24 Georgian public servants representing various governmental agencies participated in the program. The study visit aimed at introducing to Georgian civil servants the central themes emerging from Georgia’s increasing co-operation with the EU, as well as strengthening their international communication and negotiation skills. The seminars covered the following subject areas: Perspectives of Eastern Partnership; Georgia-EU Cooperation; ICT, e-governance, e-services; Diplomatic Skills Training; New Emerging Security Challenges etc. During the study visit, the participants had individual meetings with their Estonian counterparts at Ministry of Internal Affairs, Government Office of Estonia, Statistics Estonia, Ministry of Culture, Tax and Customs Board, Ministry of Rural Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, etc. At the end of the study visit, Ambassador of Georgia to Estonia, H.E. Tea Akhvlediani and Mr. Ekke Nomm, Director of the Estonian School of Diplomacy congratulated the participants on successful graduation and handed over the certificates. The program that is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is implemented by the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, while the study visit was organized by the Estonian School of Diplomacy. Mon, 20 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT Parliamentary Elections in Armenia: Sagsyan’s post-elections plans http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/683 By Giorgi Turmanidze Parliamentary elections in Armenia will be held on April 2 2017. Those will be the first elections after the constitutional reform, pursuant to which as of 2018 the country moves from the Presidential to the Parliamentary model. The key post-elections issue is the decision of an acting President, Serzh Sargsyan, on his political future after the expiration of his Presidential term. Envisaged constitutional changes As a result of December 6, 2016 Referendum, 63% of voters supported the Constitutional Reform, following which the subsequent changes were introduced to the Constitution and the legislation of the country: After the 2018 Presidential elections (second term of President Serzh Sargsyan expires in March 2018) powers of the President will be reduced and the President will discharge a symbolic role. The new President will be elected by the Parliament. Number of seats in the Parliament (National Assembly) will reduce from 131 to 101. Only parties or election blocks will have a right to participate in the elections. Political party collecting 54% of votes shall be able to nominate a Prime Minister and form the government. In case no party obtains majority, maximum three election subjects shall be able to form a coalition government. Election subjects crossing the election threshold (5% for parties and 7% for election blocks) shall form the opposition and if necessary, will receive minimum 33% of guaranteed seats Political Subjects Nine (9) political subjects participate in the elections campaign which officially resumed on March 5: Republican Party of Armenia: The Republican Party of Armenia is a ruling political power of the country; it is chaired by the President Serzh Sargsyan. He discharges the President’s functions as of 2008. Two very important events of 2016 seriously affected the reputation of the government and Sargsyan. First, the Four-day War (April 2-5 2016) crushed the myth of invincibility of Armenia; it was when Azerbaijan managed to return a small part of territories occupied by Armenia. Second, the fortnight occupation of the Police premises in July 2016 was perceived as weakness of the government. An armed group "Sasna Tsreri" was demanding resignation of the President and release of their detained comrades. Thousands of people were gathering in front of the Police premises in support of the rebels. In order to resolve the situation, in September 2016, Karen Karapetyan, who is known for close ties with Moscow, was appointed as a Prime Minister of Armenia. Karapetyan served as Mayor of Yerevan in 2010-2011 and as a high ranking official in the Russian company "Gazprom" in the last six years. "Election Block of Tsarukyan" The engine and a leading party of the "Tsarukyan’s Election Block" is a founder of "Prospering Armenia" businessman and arm-wrestling champion Gagiq Tsarukyan. Tsarukyan, aka "Dodi Gago" (Silly Gago) is considered as the richest man in Armenia. Tsarukyan’s Party, deemed as a supporter of the former President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, was cooperating with the government until 2012. However, after Parliamentary Elections of 2012, it declared itself a moderate political opposition and started criticizing the government. By 2015 Tsarukyan leaves active politics, but lately he was often seen next to Sargsyan in various political functions. According to the surveys conducted in the pre-election period, the Party has a chance of being in a leading, fist position. Election results will determine the position of the party; i.e. will it be the member of the coalition government or remain in the opposition. "Dashnaktsutyun" Revolutionary Federation of Armenia At different times, "Dashnaktsutyun" was an opposition force, as well as the member of the coalition government. However, when in government, the Party criticized the Sargsyan’s government on various matters, including the once concerning approximation/rehabilitation of relationships with Turkey. As of September 2016, the Party is represented in the Government with three Ministers. A step like that indicates that the Republican Party considers the "Dashnaktsutyun" as an ally in the future Parliament. If the Republican Party fails to obtain the majority, then 5% of Dashnaktsutyun will play a crucial role for formation of the Coalition. Election Block "Exit" The Election block mainly comprises members of three parties ("Shining Armenia", Civil Consent, Republic). The election block tries to present itself as a third power and a pro-Western amalgamation. According to the experts, the Party has a chance to beat the election threshold. Election Block "Ohanyan –Raffi –Oskanyan" The election block unites persons, who are former officials of Sargsyan’s government, including ex-Minister of Defense Seyran Ohanyan, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vardan Oskanyan and Raffi Hovanesyan. Leaders of the election block are experienced politicians. Hovanesyan was a significant competitor to Sargsyan in 2013 Presidential elections. He received 37% of the votes. Ohanyan has a certain support among war veterans and acting military officials. Other political groups Remaining election subjects have less chance of success in the elections: Renaissance Party of Armenia, National Congress of Armenia (leader of the Party the 1st President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan) and a block of the People’s Party of Armenia, as well as Free Democrats and Communist Party of Armenia. Who will cross the election threshold? According to pre-elections polls, the "Tsarukyan’s alliance" and Republican Party have best chances of winning. Representative of "Gallup International" in Armenia published results of the survey conducted on February 23 – March 2 2017 according to which Tsarukyans’s Alliance will receive 26.4% and the Republican Party – 22.8%. "Exit" election block and "Dashnaktsutyun" have a chance of crossing the threshold with 4.3% and 3.9% correspondingly. The Russian Public Opinion Survey Centre’s surveys results (February 22-26) show that Tsarukyan’s Alliance leads with 26%, followed by Republican Party with 18%. The Election Block "Exit", "Dashnaktsutuyn" and Renaissance Party of Armenia have chances of crossing the election threshold. According to the survey, the Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan has a large support of population with 77% and so does Gagiq Tsarukyan with 87%. Post-elections Plans of Sargsyan Despite the unfavourable socio-economic conditions in Armenia as well as numerous failures in 2016, the Prime Minister Karapetyan enjoys high rating; thus, with administrative resources on hand, the ruling Republican Party, most probably, will succeed and form the coalition government together with ally political parties. If the Republican Party takes the first place, due to former experience, the allies of the government may be first of all Dashnaktsutyun and if necessary, Tsarukyan’s Election Block, which will ensure power for Serzh Sargsyan and his allies even after the Presidential elections of 2018. If the Republican party retains power, then we can forecast several ways of Sargsyan’s political career: first: after 2018 Sargsyan will hold the position of the Prime Minister and he will support one of his allies for a symbolic position of the President; second: according to Sargsyan, he does not intend to step down from the position of Party Leader. In conditions where the Party leader’s position is more prestigious versus other high positions, supposedly, Sargsyan will be able to influence political processes from that position, too. Whom does Russia Support? Russia may have its favourite, but Kremlin does not openly support either political power, which would cause concerns in a part of Armenian society. Russia believes that due to current geo-political reality, Armenian political elite will have a difficulty in implementing the anti-Russian policy. No political subjects have clearly anti-Russian rhetoric. It shall be noted that several weeks before the elections, on March 15, Serzh Sargsyan visited Moscow where he had a personal meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Most probably, Sargsyan has Russia’s support for his future political activities. However, the current Prime Minister Karapetyan has very close ties with Russia as well. According to the statement of the Republican Party, he will retain the post of Prime Minister after elections. If political events develop unfavourably for Sargsyan, Karapetyan will serve as some sort of "a reserve option" for Russia. Conclusions Shifting to the Parliamentary model of governance when second (and the last) Presidential term of Sargsyan expires in 2018, leads to rather grounded suspicion that Constitutional changes aim at legitimate retention of Sargsyan in power. In case of abovementioned changes and a victory of the ruling Republican Party and its allies in Parliamentary elections, Sargsyan may remain the most influential politician of the country after 2018 as well and we may see him become a Prime Minister of the country. Mon, 20 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT Military Resilience - a Needed Factor for NATO-Partners http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/681 Over the decades of intensive engagement with its close partners, NATO has always insisted on military interoperability of the partner nation’s forces with those of the Alliance. Quite often, the primacy of military fitness exceeded the heavy weight of political requirements such as democratic transformation of the defense sector or increased transparency for better civilian control. Although Article 5 should serve as the ultimate guarantee against security concerns, the factor of defensibility of new members (former partners as in the case of the Baltic states) objectively remained a top issue, drawing plenty of controversy in political and academic discussions. Every wave of Alliance enlargement triggered fierce discussion as to whether the military value of newly integrated nations matched the relevance of the political decision to extend the area of Article 5 application. Indeed, like the Berlin crisis in the late 1950s, when allied nations quietly recognized the impossibility of defending western-controlled zones of the German capital, countries like Slovakia and especially remotely located Baltic states generated heavy doubts about the joint resolve to defend them. But, surprisingly, they also questioned the soundness of the application of Article 5 at all. As expected, this intellectual ping-pong heightened as Russia intensified its efforts to modernize nearly every branch of its military, especially after the mediocre performance of its forces in the short war against Georgia in 2008. However, even the period of steady escalation between 2008 and 2014, as Russia deliberately increased the scale and intensity of the military drills close to NATO borders, did not change the existing analytical paradigm until the Kremlin proved its willingness and capacity to challenge western allies by annexing Crimea and occupying eastern parts of Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine once and for all ended the traditional debate over whether NATO was willing to defend its eastern allied nations. The Wales and Warsaw summits left no doubts about the resolve and, indeed, a number of urgent steps were initiated to remove all political and military doubt about the defensibility of new members. In fact, historically, the very first framework of military cooperation, such as the PFP, was intended to prepare future members for joint military operations that in the end would bring added value and contribute to the increased military power and capability pool of the Alliance. Yet the parochial neglect of Russian revisionist intensions and the desire to cooperate with her on a strategic level gradually undermined the relevance of the PFP, leaving Article 5 the only source of deterrence. Heavy focus on "out of area operations" required member-candidates and close partners to prepare deployable units for counter-insurgency-like operations in Afghanistan, leaving the risk of facing conventional threat from Russia unattended. As a result, NATO had to realize that it lacked the resources and means to back the call for collective defense. Multiple RAND-based war-gaming and simulations indicated an urgent need for a substantial force increase in the Baltics and Poland both numerically and capability-wise to thwart potential Russian attacks. Even with the suggested options of deploying additional NATO-troops in the region, Russian forces would still have operational advantage with the high likelihood of destroying the resistance of forward deployed units before the main NATO-force could be assembled. At that point the very naive but practical question of how much time was needed for NATO to react militarily and politically to save the victim country becomes key not only for the Baltic states, but especially for those partner countries that aspire to NATO membership despite Russia's opposition. Unlike the eastern flank of the Alliance, where NATO cautiously decided to deploy some additional multinational combat groups, Georgia has no luxury of continuous NATO-boots presence on its soil. Hence, the question of how Georgia would buy enough time during a potential conflict with Russia to allow the international community and NATO to interfere becomes much more critical than for NATO-members (Georgia shares a land border with NATO’s second largest military power- Turkey. Undoubtedly, this should be touched upon briefly). Simply put, this means that Georgia (and similar other NATO-partners bordering Russia) need to invest much more in their defense capabilities and increase their military power in order to offer NATO the possibility of that interference. Russia is perfecting its ability to create facts on the ground and confront the western allies with the conditions changed in her favor. In the Georgian case, it would imply the swift destruction of Georgian forces presenting it as a political fait accompli, limiting the West's options and scale of reaction. Technically, if NATO is sure that whatever it does to support Georgia would be a belated action, the chance of such action is close to zero. Therefore, it would be a sign of prudence for Georgia to do everything to prove the opposite and assure NATO of the existence of a so-called "window of opportunity" to come to Georgia's aid. This window of opportunity can only be provided if Georgia's people and military can prove its resilience and resist long enough to convince NATO and its other friendly nations of the worth of political and military support. NATO's Article 5 is not a panacea, but a very practical tool, which, in fact, requires plenty of preconditions to exist, the most important of which is the assurance that the Alliance decision to defend collectively will not be futile or come too late. Even with the arrival of allied reinforcement, the Baltic states continue to improve and enlarge their military capabilities, followed by similar energetic actions in Sweden and Finland. Unfortunately, the Georgian military is struggling to utilize its shrinking funding instead of acting strategically. It's high time for Georgia to start rethinking and investing much more in its domestic ability to defend alone. Clearly, no one believes the Georgian military can hold up against the crushing power of the much superior Russian forces, yet it must prove enough resilience to contain a Russian advance and offer enough time for international political interference- because it works in a simple and reciprocal way: the surer NATO is about Georgia's ability to defend herself long enough, the more likely the Alliance will be ready to step in to support. Tue, 14 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT US Foreign Policy: The Law of the Pendulum http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/680 By Amb. Archil Gegeshidze, Executive Director of the Levan Mikeladze Foundation The US foreign policy watchers note that since the end of the Cold War a second large-scale foreign policy debate has been underway in the US. The first cycle of debates started during the term of Bush Sr. and was completed by the end of Obama's first term. At the time, the main subject of debate was the scale and extent of US global ambitions. More precisely, the dispute was about the extent to which America should intervene in the "pacification and ennobling" of other countries. The debate took place within the foreign policy elite: some calling for global stability and conflict reduction, others supporting the policy of spreading democracy and rescuing nations from tyranny and civil confrontation. Today, the debate is about whether or not America should get involved at all to ensure the stability and protection of human rights outside its borders. In contrast to the previous case, today's debate is between elites and non-elites, where the "internationalists" are in opposition to "isolationists". Over 25 years of absolute hegemony, there were two competing views in the United States: the followers of the first, both the left and right-wing political groups, urged the government to take measures as a result not of urgent necessity, but of the availability of choice of action. The US could and therefore should have acted not so much to protect their own national security (with the collapse of the Soviet Union there was no longer a need for this), but for the sake of the "welfare of others". The second view, inherent at the center of the political spectrum, supported less ambitious goals: it was thought that the US had to worry more about influencing the foreign policy of foreign countries than getting involved in their internal affairs. This cycle began before the fall of the Berlin Wall when, in response to Tiananmen Square in 1989, many actors across the political spectrum called for the introduction of sanctions against Beijing. President Bush Sr. himself did not share this approach and believed that, amid growing regional and global challenges, cooperation with the Chinese was necessary. Equally acute were debates about the Gulf War. President Bush Sr. was content to reduce the threat posed by Iraq to the region just by expelling the occupying forces from Kuwait. Others demanded that the coalition forces pursue the invaders as far as Baghdad and topple Saddam Hussein's regime. In both cases, the "prudent" policy of Bush Sr. prevailed, but the debate was not exhausted. The Clinton administration believed that the mere achievement of stability was insufficient and that principles of good governance also needed to guide foreign policy. Soon, it became clear that the task was no easy one. The response of the Clinton Administration to the conflicts in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Haiti and Rwanda were limited and inconsistent. Next came 9/11. President Bush Jr. did not want to take revenge only on the Taliban government and soon set his sights on Saddam's regime. In his opinion, toppling the regime would pave the way for not only eliminating the stocks of WMD, but also for spreading democracy in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. The effort proved futile. The Arab Spring was no success either. The only success was the operation to destroy Bin Laden. Yet, despite the significance of the fact, it could not affect the overall trend: the project of "upgrading" the Middle East had failed. So ended the first cycle of debates on foreign policy. The "intervention fatigue" has embraced both the government and the public. Modification and "upgrading" of the outside world was considered a luxury. Americans grew tired of sluggishness, especially against the background of the financial crisis of 2008, as the economy was still in a stage of "a long awakening", many jobs were lost and inequality continued to deepen. This series of grievances about the foreign policy and the state of the economy prompted the inflammation of isolationist sentiment. Already "cautious," the Obama administration became even more restrained: neither Bashar al-Assad’s reckless use of chemical weapons against his own people, nor Russia’s robbery of Ukraine startled Obama enough to give a bold response to the violent regimes. Only conservative groups, particularly in Congress, opposed his ‘passive’ foreign policy. This ‘passivity’ also resonated globally – enemies rejoiced, allies got worried. Presidential candidates Trump and Sanders noticed the mood of discontent among the general public and put it to good use in their campaigns. The focus of discussions moved inside the Republican and Democratic parties. By inertia, party elites supported the preservation and/or enhancement of US global leadership, while the lower echelons held inward-looking views. As the elections were approaching, the debate became increasingly stringent, especially within the Republican Party. With Trump winning the presidency, his views have gained weight. "America First" is essentially a nationalist paradigm and will make America internationally even more passive. Aside from war on terror, President Trump seems to be willing to downgrade "altruistic commitments" in other areas, including supporting "obsolete alliances". Certain statements and executive orders already directly indicate his sympathy to US isolationism. In the situation of polarization of political tastes in the public and elite, the Trumpean "isolationism" counters traditional "internationalism". It is believed that, over time, the debate will become more acute and, according to the Law of the Pendulum, will lead to the prevalence of "internationalists". As their argument goes, unlike the market economy, geopolitics has no "invisible hand" that can bring peace and order. The global stability of the past 75 years is the merit of America’s "visible hand". Today, too, as forces working against peace and order grow in number and strength, the need for an effective and reliable US is stronger than ever. As observers hold, because of Trump’s inexperience and peculiarities of character, his views are shaped more by intuition and instinct than by well thought-out doctrine. Therefore, it is hoped that the checks and balances in the US political system, and in international relations, will do their job and the US will return to its role and place in the modern world to meet the needs of the time. Tue, 7 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT The Benefits of the EU-Georgia Visa Liberalization http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/671 In the video Mr. Vakhtang Makharoblishvili, the Deputy Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Georgia and Mr. Kakha Gogolasvhili, the Director of the EU Study Center discuss the EU-Georgia visa liberalization related issues as well as the advantages of visa-free travel to Europe for the citizens of Georgia. The views expressed in the publications and videomaterials prepared by the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation) are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation. The Foundation expresses its appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia for the provided support. The video is made possible with the assistance of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency under the framework of the media component of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Leadership Program. Thu, 2 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT Panel Discussion “Georgia-France Relations – Origins and Development” http://cbgl.gfsis.org/events/view/679 On March 1, 2017 the panel discussion "Georgia-France Relations – Origins and Development" was held at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (Rondeli Foundation). The discussion was moderated by Irakli Menagarishvili, the Chairman of the Center for Strategic Studies, distinguished speakers included the Ambassador of Georgia to the Republic of France H.E. Ekaterine Siradze-Delaunay and the Ambassador of Georgia to the Republic of France in 2007-2012 Mamuka Kudava. In the beginning of the discussion, Irakli Menagarishvili made a brief overview of the historical aspects of French-Georgian relations, emphasizing the permanent support of France towards Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations as well as towards its territorial integrity since the declaration of independence of Georgia. Amb. Mamuka Kudava talked about the development of relations between the two countries and the results of foreign policy of France during the former President Nicolas Sarkozy, while Amb. Ekaterine Siradze-Delaunay, during her speech, outlined several areas of Georgia-France cooperation including various aspects of defense and security, education and culture. The discussion was attended by the representatives of government, expert community and media, as well as students. The presentation was followed by an engaging Q&A mode. The event was conducted in the framework of series of public discussions involving the former and current Georgian diplomats telling the origins and development of diplomatic relations of Georgia with different countries. Watch the video about the discussion. Thu, 2 Mar 2017 0:00:00 GMT