Georgia held the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum for the second time this year.
NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum
By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, April 12
The two-day forum was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia’s State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Viktor Dolidze, and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Tacan Ildem.
The Forum provides an opportunity for public diplomacy and communication professionals from all over the continent to come together to develop strategies, share best practices and actions required to effectively respond to new challenges facing the allies and partners, also to improve transatlantic strategic communication and enhance the ability to counter hybrid warfare and dispel propaganda and misinformation.
In his speech, the Prime Minister of Georgia expressed his gratitude to all those supporting Georgia's aspiration towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
"We are trying hard to keep the positive dynamics and to make these relations even more loaded. I would like to point out that we have a very important progress in this way, and tangible results," the PM stated.
Kvirikashvili noted that the Forum gives opportunities to the participants consider the new challenges and strategies, exchange best practice and summarize the results.
“This is an effective means to fight for peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond its borders. That is why this strategic communication has become an integral part of our policy,” he added.
The PM also said that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly will be held in Georgia on April 26-29 and the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg will arrive in Tbilisi to take part in the event.
“We consider this step as an example of firm support of NATO towards the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Georgia,” said Kvirikashvili.
On the second day of the Forum, President Margvelashvili also addressed the participants and underlined the importance of holding such events in Georgia.
"It is extremely important to organize such gatherings in a country like Georgia, which faces the historical mission of becoming a NATO member country," he said.
The President then discussed relations between Georgia and Russia.
“The hybrid war, cyber confrontations and a serious attempt to influence society by Russia leads to the weakening of the security environment in the region,” Margvelashvili stressed.
The President said that a joint message is necessary from the international community that would nullify the propaganda campaign carried out by the Russian Federation towards Georgia, as well as towards the region's other young democracies.
After the President’s speech, public discussions were held among the participants.
NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum was held within the NATO Days in Georgia programme, which lasted from April 2 to April 11.