BRITISH-GEORGIAN TIES
04 July, 2013
BRITISH-GEORGIAN TIES
Interview with Ambassador David Moran shortly before his departure from Georgia

David Moran arrived in Tbilisi in January, 2013 to assume the role of Charge d’Affaires. Georgian Journal is grateful to him for accepting our offer, which turned out to be our mutual wish. He gave us an interview to sum up his 6-months stay here, just before he left Georgia.
The Ambassador represents Her Majesty the Queen and the UK government in the country to which he is appointed.
He is responsible for the work of the Embassy and its Consulate, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.
G.J: Why are you leaving so soon?
D.M: It’s an exceptional case. My predecessor left early to go on maternity leave and I came to bridge the time between two full-time ambassadors.
G.J: How would you sum up these six months spent in our country?
D. M: It has been a very pleasant experience to live in Georgia. Of course, it would be better to stay for three years, but six months is enough to get to know and like your country. It has given me a taste and desire to come back. It has also been stimulating to be a part of this very interesting time in Georgia’s political development, working with Georgian government officials, NGOs, and journalists. If your assignment lasts only for six months, you have to decide what to do in that time and what your priorities should be. I am pleased that we were able to make progress in a number of things, including promoting British-Georgian trade links and bilateral political relations. For example, there have been several visits by ministers and senior officials. David Usupashvili was in London recently for talks with Lord Wallace. We have also established a British Business Group in Tbilisi, which will help us boost trade between our two countries. I often say that our trade is at a lower level than it should be. There is plenty of potential to do more. Therefore, creation of this business group is one of the means of pushing the trade forward. I delivered several speeches in Britain in front of business people, who are potentially interested in the Georgian market, and we have hosted trade missions. Hopefully, all this means that this year, the trade figures will be much higher than last year.
G.J: Please, tell our reader briefly about your professional background.
D.M: I joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1985 and have served as British Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. I have also been posted to Nairobi, Moscow and Paris. My next posting will be as British Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
G.J: What are the priorities of the embassy and will they change after your mission is over?
D.M: Our priorities are consistent. We support Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic orientation and your ambitions to get closer to Europe. It will not change. It was the same before I came and it will be the same after I leave. We will also continue to support conflict resolution activities. I have already mentioned trade. The British Council also does important cultural and educational work. The embassy has several teams which do important work in these areas, and for me it was particularly satisfying to work so closely with Georgian ministers on encouraging political cohabitation during the transition time in your country.
G.J: Could you compare the cohabitation in Georgia and other countries, which have undergone it?
D.M: I was in charge of relations with France when they had a cohabitation of this kind – the country had the President from one party and the Prime Minister from another. I am sure that our French friends will tell you that this process is never easy, but I think that the French example and the Georgian example show that it is possible to have different political traditions and still find the common ground, which you need to work peacefully and positively together. Thus, that’s up to Georgians.
If the trend of working together constructively continues and grows, you will have every chance of success.
G.J: Why was this year’s Queen’s Birthday party full of pomp and circumstance?
D.M: It was designed to celebrate different aspects of Britain. You saw the traditional aspect like the Loyalty Toast to the Queen which happens at every Queen’s Birthday Party, and the Royal Marine Band, which we managed to get here for this occasion. They perform around the world and I genuinely enjoyed having them in Georgia. But we also wanted to showcase contemporary Britain. So, the event focused on creativity, on showing Britain today, which combines traditions with something more modern. For example, we played some of our contemporary music at the evening. We also had three Minis on the street outside the hotel to showcase famous British products - in this case iconic cars - which are up-to-date, very attractive and part of the 21st century Britain.
G.J: What is your impression of Georgian media?
D.M: It is very lively and I welcome that. There are number of ways in which a country promotes its democratic culture. Independent judiciary and protection of basic freedoms and rights of individuals is essential. But the media is a key factor as well. Journalists play an absolutely pivotal role in reporting events and holding both government officials and bureaucrats to account. I support their sustained independence!
G.J: Your Prime Minister David Cameron said in January of 2013 that he is ready to hold referendum on the membership of the EU if the Conservative Party comes to power in the next general elections in Great Britain. There have been many debates regarding the membership in EU’s precursor European Economic Community as well. How would you comment it?
D.M: There are lively debates about Europe in Britain - as in many European countries. That’s good because the European Union needs to be democratically accountable to the citizens in all its 27 member states. The British Government is in favor of continued membership – it is in our national interest. The principles underlying EU reform should include flexibility and competitiveness to ensure that European Common Market is better equipped to meet the economic and other challenges that we face. We will continue to work with our European partners to develop the European Union in ways which reflect the interests and ambitions of all its members.
G.J: You are a professional blues pianist. Should our reader expect something from you at your farewell party?
D.M: You never know – my Georgian friends have been kind enough to listen to me on several occasions! I have even had the good fortune to sing together with the Brazilian Ambassador in Tbilisi once or twice. He is a very talented musician. One of Georgia’s many pleasures is its people, who love music. When I attended recent concert of traditional Georgian music, I was amazed by the variety of musical traditions in different regions. I am still learning more about that. I truly liked it. I have also heard some good modern musicians who combine traditional musical technique with up-to-date technology, producing a very interesting mix. Georgian music, along with all other local pleasures – food, wine, scenery, people – make it difficult for me to leave!
G.J: I hope you will come back, at least as a tourist.
D.M: Well, there are many ways I can come back; for work or for pleasure. Potentially, I can even come back as an ambassador for full three years at some time in the future, but it depends on my government.
Georgian Journal would like to thank British Ambassador Mr. Moran and his spouse Mrs. Carol Marquis for the wonderful Queen’s Birthday Party, as well as for the warm reception at the embassy; it wishes him all the best in his career and personal life and hopes that the links that have been established between us will develop and deepen during the mission of Mr. Moran’s successors.
Print
Other Stories
Adam Kinzinger: I Strongly Support Georgia's Immediate NATO Membership
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Chairman of the Georgian Caucus of Congress, is one of the main authors of critical letters received by the Georgian government in recent months.
Matthew Bryza: "I think it’s a shame if Georgia doesn’t participate in this digital hub project"
Matthew Bryza worries new telecommunications law targets Caucasus Online and will block major investments that could make Georgia the strategic center of a “digital silk road”
Czech Ambassador: “Georgia among the best countries worldwide when it comes to combating Covid 19”
"Czech contribution in monitoring COVID-19 in Georgia was invaluable and hugely important” - Georgia’s Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze praised the Czech Republic’s contribution during Friday meeting with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska as the Georgian and Czech sides met to discuss various aspects of joint collaboration.
Russian MFA Statement About Lugar Research Center-Another Disinformation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia responds to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding Lugar's laboratory.
UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution On Occupied Territories Of Georgia
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia - "Cooperation with Georgia" within the framework of its 43rd session.
Kurt Volker about 20th of June: People Can’t Forget That
Given that one year has passed since June 20, 2019, it is interesting to see how the West assesses the developments in Georgia during this one year and what expectations it has for the October parliamentary elections.
Eastern Partnership Beyond 2020- Context and Expectations
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) marked its 10th anniversary in 2019. The round dates always come with reflections and new resolutions for the future.
"8 March Agreement Is Very important For Georgian Democracy"-Carl Hartzell
The 8th March agreement concerned not only the change in the electoral system but justice and the impermissibility of political partiality in electoral processes, - stated the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Carl Hartzell during his video broadcast.
Donald Trump Congratulates Georgia on Independence Day
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent a letter of congratulations to the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia on Independence Day.
US Ambassador Congratulating Georgia on the Independence Day
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan has congratulated Georgia on the Independence Day.
Georgia's President Warns Covid-19 Crisis Could Trigger Russian Aggression
Georgia’s president has warned that Russia’s struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus and an economic crisis compounded by an oil price collapse risk is triggering new Kremlin aggression beyond its borders, - reads an article published by Financial Times.
Creation of Maps Violating Georgia's Territorial Integrity To be Considered Illegal
Production, advertising, use, and transportation of maps and other objects reflecting the violation of the principle of territorial integrity of Georgia will be considered as an illegal act.
Turkey Starts Accepting Health Tourists From Georgia
Turkey has started accepting foreign patients from several countries, including from Georgia.
Georgia Has The Greatest Support In the World From EU-Carl Hartzell
A true friend is known to be in trouble, and we have proved that we are true friends, ”-EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel said during an online meeting with members of the European Business Association.
The EU Council Has Approved a Package of Financial Assistance to Georgia
The Council of the European Union (EU) has approved a package of emergency macro-financial assistance for 10 countries as part of its Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy.
The US Ambassador Stresses The Importance of Fair Judiciary System
We would like to see more American companies invest in Georgia and more Georgian companies in the United States said US Ambassador Kelly Degnan during a virtual press conference.
"One More Political Prisoner Is Still Waiting To Be Released"-McAllister
The MEPs expressed their opinions about the political situation in Georgia at the discussion of the report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia.
Promoting Georgia As a Safe Destination For Tourism
“Georgia – a safe destination” is a message that Georgian diplomats should send to people in their countries, - Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said while talking to Georgian ambassadors abroad via a video conference today.
UN To Allocate USD 1 Million To Support COVID-19 Crisis in Georgia
The United Nations will allocate USD 1 million for Georgia to help the country better respond to the immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the most vulnerable groups from the devastating socio-economic impacts of the health crisis.
U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Congressmen Judy Arrington, and Markwayne Mullin have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, expressing concern over the expulsion of U.S. companies and businesses from Georgia.
European Parliament Approves €150 Million Aid For Georgia
The European Parliament on Friday approved €3 billion in loans to help EU neighbors and partner countries deal with the fallout of COVID-19.
MEPs and U.S Senators Welcome the Pardon of Opposition Politicians
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced yesterday that she was pardoning Georgian opposition politicians Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili, which she said was ‘a very difficult decision’.
The Presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia Received a High Assessment
According to the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia had a very high assessment at the international level.
Coronavirus Crisis is an Opportunity to Deepen Relations With the EU-Salome Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili talked to the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö on March 14.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
05.08.2020
06.08.2020
USD
1
USD
3.0729
3.0739
EUR
1
EUR
3.6190
3.6398
GBP
1
GBP
4.0086
4.0336
RUB
100
RUB
4.1656
4.2064
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.0739
EUR
1
EUR
3.6398
GBP
1
GBP
4.0336
RUB
100
RUB
4.2064
August 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31