YEARLY DIPLOMATS AWARD EVENT IN GEORGIA
09 June, 2011
YEARLY DIPLOMATS AWARD EVENT IN GEORGIA

 

“Ambassadors and diplomats are personalities and they are eager to stick to the society, to be close to the people”.

 

He has served as the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania in Georgia since May 2010. His Excellency Jonas Paslauskas  has shared his views on diplomatic, social and cultural issues with Georgian Journal, along with his opinion  about the annual Diplomat Award Ceremony that is going to be launched in Autumn by our newspaper.

“In every country I have worked, communication with

media has always been a great pleasure to me. I think it is important for diplomats to have good relations with journalists, because usually they are the best-informed people in the country. That is why I support every step to make the relations of diplomats and journalists closer”.

Mr. Paslauskas admits that it is not an easy task to identify the “Diplomat of the Year”, since some of his colleagues might be more exposed to public which does not mean that those who are not as popular, are worse professionals. “Diplomatic work is multifaceted. Some diplomats speak more, others listen more, while some of them write more. That is what makes the choice difficult. I strongly support Georgian Journal’s initiative, since the goal of your project - to strengthen relations between the diplomatic corps and media should be lauded”.

Diplomatic relations between Georgia and the Republic of Lithuania were established in 1994. Since then the two countries have developed close partnership in all spheres of cooperation. Nowadays the main task for the Lithuanian embassy in your country is to hold up the friendly relations that already exist and also assist Georgia to integrate into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. “We took this way not long ago and we can share with Georgia not only our achievements, but also the experience from our mistakes, which I think is very important”, Jonas Paslauskas explains, adding that recently Lithuanian embassy has become a contact embassy between NATO and Georgia, which means additional responsibilities and tasks to spread the information about the North Atlantic Alliance within our country. The ambassador also states that Georgia is on a right track: “This country is carrying out reforms which the international community has already acknowledged. We are asking Georgia to continue with these reforms. We know that such small democracies like yours and Lithuanian’s need allies. Therefore on the way of integrating into international structures, Georgia is in rather a vulnerable situation. Membership is a matter of political decision made by other members of the Atlantic Alliance. So, my advice is to find more partners inside NATO to increase the number of friends and at the same time to decrease the number of skeptics. I do think that your country’s effort to become active-for example your participation in the Afghanistan mission, shows that Georgia is a reliable partner”.

Jonas Paslauskas admits that according to the international recommendations that have been given to Georgia, certain fields , like economic issues or the relations between the government and the opposition still need to be improved, but Mr. Paslauskas says that this is the path that Georgia has already chosen and the only thing that is needed at the moment is patience and clever decisions.

“There is one more crucial thing while talking about European structures and NATO. We should remember that it is not about weapon, bombs, rockets; It is about values; It is about reliable partnership; You should be a safe, predictable partner. It is like driving a car – how do you drive? How do you respect pedestrians or other cars around you?”

It has been a year since Mr. Jonas Paslauskas has been in Georgia. As he told Georgian Journal, he has travelled a lot around the country, visiting small towns, meeting people, talking to them. “Optimism is the first thing that is obviously noticeable among Georgians. There are a lot of problems here, so I admire your optimism. There is also something special for me about sitting at a restaurant and watching how Georgian people are celebrating something. This is some unique culture of “supra”; You know how to spend time, sitting at the table for five hours, seeing no drunk people, it really is something special. I like your songs; I admire your dignity, your self-respect, your relations-how people communicate to each other, your extraordinary nature”. The Lithuanian ambassador also told Georgian Journal that as soon as he mentions his origins, he receives some special attitude everywhere he happens to appear from streets to markets and this is the reason why for him, as for just a foreigner it is especially pleasant to be in Georgia.

Talking about the future projects and cooperation, Jonas Paslauskas emphasizes that he considers as one of his main tasks to deepen relations not only between the high-rank authorities of the two countries, but also the lower-level politicians; to support the development of smaller towns of Georgia, assist them in finding partners, as well as so called “twin towns” like a railroad centre of Georgia-Khashuri and the Lithuanian railroad centre and etc.

“The main target of our future projects are not only the highest officials, but the collaboration of the entire countries. This is what the real cooperation should be like in my opinion. I think that the energy of the young generation of Georgia’s leaders and the efforts of your country to integrate into international structures have very bright future”, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania in Georgia, Mr. Jonas Paslauskas concludes.

 

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