Ambassador Ahmed ALNUAIMI: "I am fortunate to be posted to Georgia during this dynamic period of emerging relations between UAE and this strategically significant nation"

Ahmed Ebrahim Ahmed Taher ALNUAIMI
13.03.2024 (Caucasian Journal)It is an honour for Caucasian Journal today to welcome His Excellency Ahmed Ebrahim Ahmed Taher ALNUAIMI, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Georgia.  

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal: Your Excellency, welcome to Caucasian Journal, and thank you for finding time for our readers. Your ambassadorial term in Georgia started about a year ago, if I am correct. Probably you have already got substantial local experience. May I start by asking about your brightest moments in Georgia – maybe something unexpected, emotional, or even funny?

Ahmed ALNUAIMI: Serving as the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Georgia has been a rewarding experience, affording me the opportunity to play a pivotal role in fostering collaboration between our two nations. My tenure so far here has been an extremely positive experience. The gracious hospitality extended to me by the Georgian people has made an indelible mark on my diplomatic mission.

Moreover, I have been impressed by the culinary delights that Georgia offers, and the scenic beauty of the country has been a continuous source of awe and inspiration throughout my work here. 

Johnny MELIKYAN: Armenian “Crossroads of Peace” initiative is a frank and peaceful approach to our neighbors and not only

05.03.2024 (Caucasian Journal)  Our today's guest is Johnny MELIKYAN, Senior Fellow at the ORBELI Research Analytical Center (Yerevan).

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal: Dear Johnny, welcome to Caucasian Journal! As our name implies, we are especially interested in projects which are important for the whole South Caucasian region, and are about closer integration of our countries. That’s why we were looking forward to talking about the “Crossroads of Peace”, presented by the Prime Minister of Armenia in Tbilisi, when Mr. Pashinyan attended the Silk Road Forum last October. For a start, how can you summarize this project for our readers? And also, may I ask if your Center was involved in the development of this project?

Johnny MELIKYAN: First of all, I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk about Armenia and our approach to this wonderful, but at the same time, so complicated and divided region. Answering on the last part of your question, I would say “Yes” - Orbeli Center is working with our government on information support for this project. And this interview is yet another opportunity to speak with a large audience about the Armenian peaceful agenda in the South Caucasus.

Speaking about the situation in the region, I want to say that the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in the autumn of 2020 changed the status-quo, which was formed in the mid-90s, just after the first Nagorno-Karabakh war. It took the lives of thousands of people in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The wounds and pains of that war on families, towns and villages will take a long time to heal. Its outcome determined some issues, left others unresolved, and created some new ones. Later, in 2021-2022, on the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border and in September 2023 in Nagorno-Karabakh, we saw more blood and sufferings. As a result of September 19-20 Azerbaijani large-scale aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, which took hundreds of lives, including among the civilian population, women and children. As a result of this ethnic cleansing, more than 100 thousand people became forcibly displaced.

According to Economic Freedom Index, Georgia performs better than the world and regional averages

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02.03.2024 (Caucasian Journal). Georgia ranks 32nd among 176 countries in the world, according to the Index of Economic Freedom, compiled annually by the Heritage Foundation, an American public policy think tank. Heritage Foundation evaluates the extent and effectiveness of government activity in 12 areas that have a significant impact on levels of economic growth and prosperity. 

Georgia's position is higher than those of its geographical neighbors: Armenia (47th place), Azerbaijan  (70th), Türkiye (102th), Russia (131th). 

Over the year, the country rose two places in the Index, despite a decrease in the overall score - from 68.7 points to 68.4 points (This, however, is partly due to a global tendency, as the authors of the Index noted: "Regrettably, the global average score for economic freedom has fallen further from the previous year’s 59.3 and is now the lowest it has been since 2001: only 58.6). 

Georgia is ranked 19th out of 44 countries in the Europe region. The country’s economic freedom score is higher than the world and regional averages. Georgia’s economy is considered “moderately free” according to the 2024 Index. Armenia and Azerbaijan are in the same category. 

"Despite a challenging external and political environment, Georgia’s economy performs quite well in key policy areas. Reforms to enhance regulatory efficiency have been implemented, and open-market policies are maintained along with low tax rates. The economy has demonstrated a high level of resilience. However, institutional weaknesses still require much more committed reforms because marginal reforms have not generated much improvement.", - reads the Index of Economic Freedom.