• NATO Set to Ratify Pledge on Joint Defense in Case of Major Cyberattack
    NYT By DAVID E. SANGER AUG. 31, 2014

    When President Obama meets with other NATO leaders later this week, they are expected to ratify what seems, at first glance, a far-reaching change in the organization’s mission of collective defense: For the first time, a cyberattack on any of the 28 NATO nations could be declared an attack on all of them, much like a ground invasion or an airborne bombing.

    The most obvious target of the new policy is Russia, which was believed behind computer attacks that disrupted financial and telecommunications systems in Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008, and is believed to have used them in the early days of the Ukraine crisis as well.

    But in interviews, NATO officials concede that so far their cyberskills are limited at best.

    #OTAN sans stratégie en cas de #cyberguerre ; #sécurité_informatique #surveillance

    • In fact, NATO officials say they have never been briefed on the abilities of the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command, or those of The Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, its British equivalent. Both countries have routinely placed sensors into computers, switching centers and undersea cables for years, as the documents released by Edward J. #Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, make clear.

  • #ISIS poses serious threat to #Lebanon

    An image made available by Jihadist media outlet al-Itisam Media on June 29, 2014, allegedly shows members of the IS (Islamic state) including military leader and Georgian native, Abu Omar al-Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili) (C-L) and ISIL sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Adnani (C-R), whose picture was blurred from the source to protect his identity, speaking at an unknown location between the Iraqi Nineveh province and the Syrian town of Al-Hasakah. (Photo: AFP-al-Itisam Media) An image made available by Jihadist media outlet al-Itisam Media on June 29, 2014, allegedly shows members of the IS (Islamic state) including military leader and Georgian native, Abu Omar al-Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili) (C-L) and ISIL sheikh Abu Mohammed al-Adnani (C-R), whose (...)

    #Opinion #al-Qalamoun #Articles #Damascus #Ersal #Hezbollah #lebanese_army #syria #Syrian_army #Yabrud

  • Georgia on My Mind | The Armenian Mirror-Spectator

    The region is plagued by many complex problems, because of the rivalry between regional and world powers. One of those problems is the Ottoman dream of Pan-Turkism, which has been checked by the existence of two Christian nations, Armenia and Georgia, blocking the eastward thrust of Turkish nationalist powers.

    In recent years, however, it has become apparent that Georgia’s leaders do not consider Pan-Turkism an existential threat to their country, choosing instead short-term political accommodations with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

    Successive Georgian governments have consistently voted with Turkey and Azerbaijan at the UN. But above all, they have been sanguine in supporting any economic plan which intends to isolate Armenia. For example, Tbilisi governments have joined rail and pipeline networks which bypass Armenia.
    That is why we have considered Georgia as a friendly foe. But recently, the Economist weekly has used another word which suits better the two nations’ relationship, “frenemies.

    #frenemy #frenemies

    L’Arménie se sent de plus en plus isolée au milieu de ses voisins turcs ou en voie de turquisation.

    Ce qui nous amène tout naturellement à l’#Adjarie.

    Another region of concern for Armenians in Georgia is Ajaria, which became the Ajarian Autonomous Republic after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    Ajaria is a vital economic link for Armenia, which is already under a crippling blockade by Turkey. Most unofficial trade and tourism between Armenia and Turkey crosses through Ajaria. The region was under Turkish rule for a while and the Georgians were forced to adopt the Moslem religion. By the time of independence, Ajarians had mostly converted back to Christianity. Today, the Turkish influence is so great that 70 percent of the population has adhered to Islam.
    In his quest to turn Ajaria into a tourist destination, Saakashvili opened the floodgates to Turkish economic penetration. Parallel to that economic drive, he offered citizenship to anyone who applied for it. Already, 25,000 Turkish citizens have received Georgian citizenship and they have taken white collar jobs in and around Batumi, unlike Europe, where the Turks are mostly unskilled laborers.

    Et un rappel sur les (Turcs) #Meskhètes au passage en Djavahkétie.

    The Armenian problem for them is not new. At one point, the government intended to resettle in Javakhk the Meskhetian Turks, who had been expelled by Stalin, in order to create ethnic tensions.

    Meskhètes — Wikipédiaètes

    La Géorgie est devenue en 1999 membre du Conseil de l’Europe, à la condition de régler la question du rapatriement des Meskhètes avant 2011. Peu de choses ont été entreprises depuis, la Géorgie se plaignant de difficultés prioritaires difficilement gérables, comme les déplacés d’Abkhazie, la crise économique ou les tensions avec les Arméniens de Djavakhétie. En juin 2007, une loi a été adoptée par le Parlement géorgien, donnant la possibilité aux candidats au rapatriement de revenir en Géorgie, sous couvert d’acceptation par les instances géorgiennes. Les conditions sont draconiennes et le délai accordé très court (un an entre janvier 2008 et décembre 2009). Cette loi n’a pas fait l’unanimité et divise la classe politique comme la population, toujours sous-informée et hostile aux Meskhètes.

  • De Facto Abkhaz President Says He Will Not Resign

    Meeting in emergency session late on May 29, the parliament of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia passed a vote of no confidence in the region’s government.

    It also called on de facto President Aleksandr Ankvab to resign in order to resolve the two-day standoff between his supporters and the opposition Coordinating Council headed by Ankvab’s longtime rival, Forum of National Unity of Abkhazia co-Chairman Raul Khajimba.

    In an interview with “Izvestia,” de facto Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaya has indicated his readiness to yield his post at any time to an opposition representative qualified to fill it, but noted that the cabinet can only be dismissed by presidential decree. Ankvab for his part continues to refuse either to dismiss the government or to step down himself.
    In line with the region’s constitution, the presidential ballot must be held no later than three months after Ankvab’s resignation. But at present the parliament cannot muster the required two-thirds vote to impeach him. On May 29, just 20 of the total 35 parliament members voted in favor of his resignation: despite Khajimba’s efforts to coerce them, most of the deputies from the pro-presidential Amtsakhara party failed to attend the session.
    Similarly unclear is what behind-the-scenes role Moscow’s two representatives, Vladislav Surkov and Rashid Nurgaliyev, have played since their arrival in Sukhumi on May 28. On May 29, the opposition Coordinating Council suddenly demanded the signing of a new treaty between the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia and the Russian Federation, which recognized Abkhazia as an independent sovereign state following the August 2008, that would raise the “strategic partnership” to a new level. The council also advocated Abkhaz participation in the CIS Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union.

    Relations with Russia did not figure on the long and detailed list of criticisms of Ankvab’s policies that the Coordinating Council made public one month ago. Those criticisms focused primarily on Ankvab’s high-handed leadership style and the lack of a coherent policy to kick-start Abkhazia’s stagnating economy.

    True, Surkov publicly declared that Moscow had no intention of interfering in the domestic politics of the independent Republic of Abkhazia. But the possibility that he undertook to engineer Ankvab’s resignation in return for a commitment by the new leadership to closer integration with Russia cannot be dismissed out of hand.

  • Qu’est-ce qui force au travail forcé ? | OIT

    L’étude :

    The current analysis is based on surveys carried out in eight countries [Guatemala, Nepal, Niger, Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Moldova], with three different target groups: all members of a household (5 years of age and above); children (5 to 17 years of age); and returned adult migrants. These three populations were chosen according to the form of forced labour that was more likely to take place in the country. The main purpose of this chapter is to study the factors that make individuals vulnerable to forced labour.

    La définition du travail forcé selon l’OIT :

    According to the ILO’s survey guidelines, an individual is considered to be working in forced labour if he or she was not freely recruited and faced some form of penalty at the time of recruitment, had to work and lives under duress and the menace of any penalty or cannot leave the employer because of the menace of a penalty (…)

    Les hommes plus exposés que les femmes :

    The counter-intuitive finding of the study is that women and girls are generally less likely to be in forced labour irrespective of their age. Being female as opposed to male reduces the probability of a household member aged 5 or older being in forced labour by 0.21 percentage points (in the Niger), to 9.89 percentage points (in Guatemala). (…)

    Un effet protecteur de l’éducation :

    With the exception of Guatemala where, surprisingly, the literate were more likely to be in forced labour (4.14 percentage points), being literate leads to a maximum 1.15 percentage point decrease in the probability of household members being in forced labour. Individuals in households with literate heads were less likely to be in forced labour. For children, what matters is the literacy and education level of the household’s decision-maker. (…)
    The education of the fathers, which impacts household income, has a negative effect on forced labour. Having an educated father reduces the probability of an employed child ending up in forced labour by 0.17 per cent in the Plurinational State of Bolivia to 2.82 per cent in Côte d’Ivoire. If a child is in a household with an educated mother, the decrease can be by about as much as 5.65 per cent. (…)

    Un fort effet des chocs de revenu et de la faim :

    Direct measures of wealth are not used in the estimation model due to the importance of credit in the measurement of forced labour. Instead, measures such as income shocks and food security are used. (…) In terms of food security, data were only available for Nepal where food security had a negative effect on the probability of household members ending up in forced labour. This effect is extremely high, about 5.57 percentage points for household members as a whole, irrespective of their age, and about 13.77 percentage points for children. (…)

    Pour les migrants revenus au pays, deux puissants facteurs de risque : être endetté...

    In the surveys that targeted returned migrants, no direct information was available on the income levels of the migrants prior to migration. The only information that could be used as proxy is whether they borrowed to finance their trip. Borrowing from third parties, even from relatives and friends as opposed to not borrowing at all, leads to an increase in the probability that an individual will end up in forced labour. While borrowing in itself has a significant impact on the individual’s vulnerability to forced labour, the amount borrowed appears not to have much impact. Those who borrowed from relatives and friends as opposed to not borrowing faced an increase in the probability of being in forced labour by about 0.35 percentage points in the Republic of Moldova to 8.43 percentage points in Armenia. (…)

    … et être un travailleur agricole :

    Skilled agricultural workers faced an increase in probability of being in forced labour across all three countries due to their occupation as opposed to being in the reference occupations. The returned migrants in the Republic of Moldova and Armenia faced between a 0.83 percentage point and a 37.54 percentage point increase in probability of being in forced labour if they were skilled agriculture workers as opposed to workers in professional occupations. In Georgia, they faced a 23.50 percentage point increase in their probability of being in forced labour if they were in skilled agriculture as opposed to professional occupations.

    (p. 29 sqq.)


    • Je n’en suis pas sûr. Le rapport comporte trois parties.
      La première cherche à mesurer l’ampleur du travail forcé au niveau mondial. La prostitution y est prise en compte : « Dans l’étude de 2012, on estime que 22 pour cent des personnes en travail forcé sont victimes d’exploitation sexuelle et 68 pour cent sont victimes de travail forcé dans des activités économiques telles que l’agriculture, la construction, le travail domestique ou le secteur manufacturier » (résumé en français,
      La deuxième partie cherche à mesurer les profits induits par le travail forcé. La prostitution est également prise en compte : « on estime que le total des profits tirés du travail forcé dans l’économie privée mondiale s’élève à 150 milliards de dollars par an. La majeure partie des profits est générée en Asie, dont deux tiers provenant de l’exploitation sexuelle. »
      La troisième partie, celle que je cite ici, ne porte pas sur le même corpus de données globales : elle repose sur plusieurs enquêtes locales. Je ne pense pas que la prostitution ait été mise à l’écart - le rapport ne le dit pas explicitement - mais il y a sans doute un biais dans le choix des terrains (plutôt ruraux, hors Europe, Amérique du Nord et Asie du Sud-Est, etc.), qui limite le poids du travail sexuel forcé.

  • NATO maneuvers with Georgia, Ukraine threaten war with Russia - World Socialist Web Site

    NATO maneuvers with Georgia, Ukraine threaten war with Russia
    By Alex Lantier
    3 April 2014

    NATO is provacatively seeking to install its forces on Russia’s borders, moving to recruit Georgia and Ukraine’s unelected, pro-Western regime to the military alliance, a move that threatens a NATO-Russia war.

    NATO and Georgian officials met yesterday in Brussels to plan talks on a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to admit Georgia into NATO as early as September.

    #crimée #russie #ukraine #géorgie

  • Ukraine conflict exacerbates tensions in the Caucasus - World Socialist Web Site

    Ukraine conflict exacerbates tensions in the Caucasus
    By Clara Weiss
    29 March 2014

    The Ukraine conflict is exacerbating the already tense situation in the Caucasus. Following the US and European Union-backed coup in Kiev, moves are now underway to speed up the inclusion of Georgia and Moldova into the EU and NATO, and strengthen ties with Azerbaijan. Both Georgia and Azerbaijan have lined up behind the imperialist powers and the right-wing government in Kiev in their campaign against Russia.

    The Caucasus has been a renewed focal point of imperialist interests since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and subsequent independence of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. The region provides access to the Caspian Basin—one of the largest energy reserves in the world—and serves as a bridge between Europe and Central Asia.

    #ukraine #russie #caucase

  • Georgia dreams of a new transport system - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition

    Other towns have buses or trams. In Chiatura, in mountainous Georgia, a vast system of cable cars serve public transportation needs, bringing passengers to the neighbourhoods up the slopes. You hit the central rope way station down the valley where cables from three different directions meet. It is the only such station in the world.

    This transport system is a testimony of the Soviets’ unique town planning, making Chiatura a place of historical and architectural significance. Yet its legacy has hardly been recognized.

    #georgie #transport #photographie

  • Hopeful Georgia takes baby steps towards EU - Features - Al Jazeera English

    In 1999, the late Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania declared before the Council of Europe: “I am Georgian, and therefore I am European.”

    Zhvania’s statement came just eight years after independence from the Soviet Union, and foreshadowed the South Caucasian country’s European Union aspirations and pro-Western foreign policy.

    Following vigorous efforts by former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to forge closer ties with the West, Georgia initialled an “Association Agreement” on Friday with the European Union at its Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Among other things, the agreement will make Georgia a member of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which will remove many trade barriers with the EU. The initialling is a preliminary step towards signing the Association Agreement, which is expected to take place next year.

    #georgie #union_européenne #ue #caucase

  • Cadeau de joyeux avènement de I. Aliyev : un an de gaz gratuit pour tous les lieux de culte en Azerbaïdjan, mais aussi aux églises géorgiennes.

    SOCAR to supply free gas to Georgia’s religious facilities - AzerNews

    Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR will supply gas to the religious facilities of Georgia free of charge within a year beginning from this November.
    [SOCAR Head Rovnag] Abdullayev said… “We renegotiated the terms and made ​​a decision on gas supply to all religious facilities in Georgia free of charge within a year upon Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s instruction.”
    Earlier, SOCAR said that President Aliyev also ordered to supply natural gas for the heating systems of all the mosques and churches and other religious facilities in Azerbaijan free of charge.

  • Georgian politics: Bidzina is not the messiah | The Economist

    Bidzina is not the messiah
    Sep 10th 2013, 11:56 by G.E. | TBILISI

    IT IS a phrase more readily associated with Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian”, a comic film with a cult-like following. On September 2nd, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Georgian prime minister, released an open letter to explain his decision to leave his position shortly after the presidential elections on October 27th. The main reason, he says, is that he is not the messiah.

    Georgia has a complicated relationship with political saviours. All three of Georgia’s previous post-independence leaders, Zviaad Gamsakhurdia, Eduard Shevardnardze and Mikheil Saakashvili, the current president, fitted this mould. Each man courted wildly unrealistic expectations from the Georgian public, but yielded little by way of accountability in return. As Georgians saw reality, their dreams turned to deep disillusionment.

    #géorgie #caucase

  • Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan: Between Russia and the West

    Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan: Between Russia and the West

    By Dr Kevork Oskanian.

    Since their independence, the three South Caucasian states have come to adopt widely divergent strategic responses to the complex structural realities underlying their region’s security landscape. Following the 2003 Rose Revolution, Georgia became unequivocally pro-Western: the goals of EU and NATO integration were firmly inscribed in two National Security Concepts, adopted in 2006 and 2011, which were recently confirmed in a rare bi-partisan parliamentary resolution uniting the otherwise fractious supporters of President Saakashvili and Prime Minister Ivanishvili.

    #caucase #arménie #azerbaidjan #géorgie #russie #europe

  • INOGATE conference promotes high quality energy statistics

    Espérons que ça ne reste pas qu’un voeu pieux

    The impact of energy statistics in policy making was the focus of an international conference on the Strategic Role of Energy Statistics in National and International Policies, held on 23-24 April in Copenhagen.

    The conference, organised by the INOGATE Technical Secretariat (ITS) with the support of Statistics Denmark, brought together 50 high-level officials from both the EU and the INOGATE partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Participants included representatives from the National Statistics Institutes, Ministries and Members of Parliament responsible for policy and decision making in the energy sector as well as media.

    #énergie #statistiques #inogate

  • Post-Election Georgia: Turning the Dream of Peace Into Reality?

    Rachel Clogg
    Open Democracy
    October 12, 2012

    Since Georgia’s independence from the USSR in 1989, autonomy movements in two regions - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - have threatened to break up the new country. After more than two decades of political upheaval, violent conflicts and stunted economic growth, Georgia’s recent parliamentary elections have been described as the country’s first peaceful transition of power. The oppositional “Georgian Dream Coalition” led by billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili’s won the majority of seats. In addition to economic stimulus, the coalition will focus on finding political solutions to the enduring regional conflicts. Will the newly elected government be able to “translate positive noises into action”?

    For those of us working toward peace in the South Caucasus, recent events in Georgia have brought a renewed sense of possibility. Political upheaval, large populations of displaced people, and stunted economic growth have characterised the decades since violent conflicts broke out following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Peace processes in the Caucasus have swung between dialogue and deadlock, with periods of heightened tension or war, and the ever-present risk of renewed violence.

    While peacebuilders have persevered with their efforts at building understanding across conflict divides and creating conditions for conflict transformation, many people have been cautious in their assessments of what is possible. If the newly elected government proves able to translate positive noises into action, those viewpoints may need to be revisited.

    #georgie #caucase #europe

  • Georgia is Having a Democratic Counterrevolution

    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Thomas de Waal Bloomberg, October 2, 2012

    In Georgia today they are talking about the counterrevolution. The Oct. 1 parliamentary election in Georgia produced the kind of result that we don’t expect from elections in post- Soviet countries. The opposition won. The governing party of Mikheil Saakashvili, who came to power in the country’s peaceful Rose Revolution of 2003, has been defeated by the Georgian Dream coalition, led by Georgia’s wealthiest man, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

    This is the first time in 20 years that Georgia — or indeed any of its post-Soviet neighbors — has seen political change through the ballot box rather than from crowds on the streets, and Georgia should be congratulated for that. We should be clear that this wasn’t an election fought by European rules: Saakashvili and his government did everything in their power to ensure a victory, deploying state resources and a loyal media to buttress support for the ruling party.

    Yet, under heavy Western pressure, they allowed the opposition to compete. To his credit, Saakashvili recognized a result that went against him.

    Broadly speaking, Saakashvili and his government lost for two reasons. Over the past nine years they have made impressive reforms, modernizing the bureaucracy, eliminating petty corruption and tackling organized crime.

    #géorgie #caucase #russie #élection

  • Georgia : Commander of U.S. Marine Corps in Europe Meets Ivanishvili « Aletho News

    Georgia: Commander of U.S. Marine Corps in Europe Meets Ivanishvili

    Civil Georgia | October 5, 2012

    Bidzina Ivanishvili and Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps in Europe, Lt Gen John M. Paxton, outside Ivanishvili’s compound in Tbilisi.
    Photo: Ivanishvili’s press office

    Tbilisi – Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose Georgian Dream coalition won the parliamentary elections, said Georgia, which has two battalions stationed in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, would “definitely continue” cooperation with the U.S. over Afghanistan.

    He made the remarks on October 5 after meeting with commander of the U.S. Marine Corps in Europe, Lt Gen John M. Paxton, who is visiting Georgia.

    “Georgia has been a very valuable and trusted ally for many years; we work very closely together in Afghanistan, particularly in Helmand province and we have enjoyed a great relationship trying to develop NCO leadership, officer skills and work on enhanced security cooperation,” Lt Gen Paxton said after the meeting.

    “We are here to congratulate Mr. Ivanishvili and to wish him a smooth transition of power. We are here to just reaffirm that the United States stands by Georgia,” he said and added he was looking forward not only to working relationship in Afghanistan but also to continued good relations in years ahead.

    “This was my first meeting with the U.S. military, who have provided a huge assistance to establishing of the Georgian army and to its reforms in line with the NATO standards,” Ivanishvili said. “I knew it, but I was very glad to hear that Georgian [troops] have special importance in the NATO forces [in Afghanistan] and that together with the U.S. [troops] are [performing combat duties] in difficult areas”

    “Of course we should do everything possible in order to [continue] our partnership with the United States in Afghanistan and in such hotspots,” Ivanishvili said and added that Georgia was playing “a role of a real junior friend” to the United States and “we will definitely continue cooperation in the future too.”

    The Commander of U.S. Marine Corps in Europe met on October 5 with Chief of Joint Staff of the Georgian armed force Lt Gen Devi Chankotadze.

    “The sides focused on an enhanced military cooperation between the countries. Chief of JS underlined that Georgia will continue cooperation with the United States in the same format and stressed the role the U.S. plays in modernization of the Georgian army and in developing interoperability with NATO,” the Georgian Ministry of Defense said. “Lt Gen Devi Chankotadze affirmed that Georgia stands ready to continue cooperation with NATO and the United States in the post-ISAF period too.”

    Also on October 5, the Commander of U.S. Marine Corps in Europe visited National Training Centre, Krtsanisi, outside Tbilisi where he attended training of the Georgian servicemen, who are gearing up for the Afghan deployment.

  • A Crucial Election in Georgia - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    Thomas de Waal September 11, 2012

    Georgia Elections Georgia’s parliamentary election on October 1 will be its most important since the disputed polls of 2003 which led to the Rose Revolution and the subsequent election of Mikheil Saakashvili as president. The governing party, the United National Movement (UNM), is seeking to win a majority for a third time. The emergence of the Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili poses the most credible challenge yet to the elite that has governed Georgia for more than eight years.

    #géorgie #caucase #élections #saakashvili

  • Netanyahu blames Iran, Hezbollah for Israeli embassy attacks | Al Akhbar English

    Israel has blamed Iran and Hezbollah for bomb attacks at the Israeli embassies in India and Georgia on Monday.

    An embassy car exploded in a ball of fire in New Delhi, wounding two people, while Georgian police were able to defuse the Tbilisi device before it went off.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Islamic republic was responsible for both incidents.

    “Iran is behind these attacks,” Netanyahu told members of his right-wing Likud party.


    The attacks came a day after the fourth anniversary of the assassination of senior Hezbollah figure Imad Mughniyeh, himself killed a car bomb explosion in Damascus. Israel was widely suspected as responsible for the attack.

    Hezbollah declined to comment on the accusation when questioned by Al-Akhbar.

  • Albania: girl ratio ’suffers’ in sex selective abortions - Yahoo! News;_ylt=A

    Sex selective abortions — and in earlier times infanticide — have been cited as an indicator for skewed sex ratios in some Asian nations where tradition prefers sons. United Nations figures show China, India and Vietnam have the biggest imbalance, but the Council of Europe warns that the practice has spread to Europe — and has singled out Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

    #sexisme #Albanie #femmes