Georgian PM Visits Brussels, Receives Positive Messages of Support

I really appreciate the strong and close partnership between Georgia and NATO. Georgia is one of NATO's most important partners, - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated at a joint press conference held after his meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia in Brussels this week.

As the NATO Secretary General noted, Georgia can be proud of its contribution to the shared security and to NATO missions and operations.

“I really appreciate the strong and close partnership between Georgia and NATO. It is also a pleasure to welcome the Georgian Foreign Minister to NATO Headquarters, because I think that affects the political importance of our partnership. Georgia is one of NATO's most important partners. You contribute to our shared security in many different ways, including with troops in NATO's training mission in Afghanistan. We can all be proud of what we do together, and you can be proud of your contributions to our shared security, and contributions to NATO missions and operations,” Stoltenberg stated.

The Secretary General is said to have given the “highest assessment” to the reforms carried out by the Georgian authorities.

“[He said that] Georgia is one of the leaders in the region in terms of democratic reforms, as well as reforms implemented in the field of defense and security. He called on us to continue and further deepen the consolidation of our democratic processes in the future,” Georgian Foreign Affairs Minister Davit Zalkaliani stated. “In the PM’s meeting with Mr. Stoltenberg, there was an extremely meaningful discussion of the main processes of Georgia's NATO integration, as well as the situation in the region,” he added.

“The Prime Minister emphasized Black Sea security and Georgia's role in this regard, which is extremely important and clear-cut: Georgia as a link, and Georgia as a country that must ensure the interests of our European and NATO partners in the region. It was noted that Georgia possesses all practical instruments in terms of NATO integration; that membership is our main priority; and that it is precisely these practical instruments, such as the joint package, the annual program, and the highly effective NATO-Georgia Commission, that provide an important guarantee that Georgia will definitely achieve its ultimate goal of membership," Minister Zalkaliani told journalists.

In the Georgian Prime Minister’s meeting with European Commission Vice President, European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas, talks concerned the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic and the significant financial support provided by the European Union to Georgia in this process. It was noted that the EU is Georgia's strategic partner and that the majority of the citizens of Georgia support the country's European integration.

It was highlighted that Georgia is a leader in the region in terms of democratic development and reforms, and that the recent reform of the electoral system, which involved transitioning to a more proportional electoral system, had brought the country to a new level of democratic development.

The talks also touched on the opportunities provided to Georgia by the Association Agreement, the Free Trade Agreement, and visa liberalization. It was noted that Georgia has more ambitions, and that it is necessary to ensure even greater integration and maximum utilization of the potential of the Black Sea region.

Schinas noted that Georgia is an “outstanding leader among the Eastern Partnership countries” but that a “differentiated, ‘more for more’ approach is needed, as Georgia, which is doing a lot for the purpose of European integration, deserves more.”

In that regard, the Georgian PM’s meeting with European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, was particularly significant, as it saw the signing of two financing agreements with a total budget of 129 million EUR, which aim to improve the socioeconomic situation in Georgia as a result of the spread of the coronavirus. PM Gakharia stated that the signing of the COVID-19 Resilience Contract and the Integrated Territorial Development documents, within the framework of his visit to Brussels, is yet another confirmation of the special partnership between Georgia and the EU.

The European Commissioner spoke about the strengthening of transport and communication links, economic recovery, and development, to which the PM responded by highlighting the importance of developing physical transport and communication links with the EU in the political, economic, and security directions, noting that the majority of the population of Georgia supports Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Georgia's important role in the wider Black Sea Region was also stressed.

01 October 2020 16:52