Newport welcomes Georgian visitors

Posted on Tuesday 20th June 2017

Newport City Council welcomed delegations from its twin city of Kutaisi and the Georgian Embassy to the Civic Centre.

Representatives were met by the Mayor of Newport, Councillor David Fouweather, council leader Councillor Debbie Wilcox and chief executive Will Godfrey.

Kutaisi's party was led by the city's Mayor, Shota Murghulia, and he was accompanied by his wife Teona Shekiladze, a lawyer at Zurab Zhvani Georgian School of Public Administration; City Councillor Davit Tsitaisshvili; Vladimer Jghamadze, head of the fire and emergency services, and David Megrelishvili, head of international relations projects division at Kutaisi City Hall.

They were joined by Her Excellency Tamar Beruchashvili, the Georgian Ambassador to the UK, and Ekaterine Kokaia, senior counsellor at the Embassy of Georgia.

Sonia Fisher, Derek Butler, Dame Rosemary Butler, Vera Brown and Stephen Marshall, of the Newport Kutaisi Twinning Organisation who organised the visit, were also in attendance.

Councillor Gail Giles, who is also a member of NKTA, and Beverly Owen, strategic director (place), were among those representing the council.

A presentation by Councillor Wilcox on the management and development of the city was followed by talks with the Georgian Ambassador.

There were also presentations by Keith Backhouse, of Coleg Gwent, and Tim Hartley, of Welsh football charity GOL.

After a tour of the Hans Feibusch murals and the council chamber, the distinguished guests had lunch before leaving to visit the city centre, including Kutaisi Walk.

Councillor Wilcox said: "Newport has had a warm and productive relationship with Kutaisi for more than a quarter of the century.

"We were delighted to welcome our friends from Kutaisi along with the Georgian Ambassador and embassy delegates to Newport.

"I hope they found the presentations useful and enjoyed their time with us."

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