Georgian PM Holds High-rank Meetings in Munich

A Georgian Delegation headed by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held meetings with high-ranking officials at the 53rd Munich Security Conference, which took place on February 17- 19. More than 500 decision-makers from across the globe, including more than 25 heads of state and government, 80 foreign and defense ministers, and strong delegations from the new US administration and Congress, came together in Munich to discuess major international security challenges.

First, the Georgian PM met with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini. The EU High Representative commended Georgia's exceptional progress on its path towards integration with the European Union (EU) and emphasized that the EU will complete the remaining procedures related to visa liberalization for Georgia soon.

The Association Agreement was also discussed. The Prime Minister stressed the Georgian government's commitment to effectively implementing the 2017-2020 Association Agreement Agenda. The parties also touched on the Eastern Partnership Summit planned for late 2017.

On February 19, Kvirikashvili met with his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirım. The Prime Ministers spoke about the need to strengthen the bilateral economic ties between the two countries and confirmed their commitment to deeper cooperation on important international projects, including the successful implementation of the Southern Corridor. Binali Yıldırım invited Kvirikashvili to attend the summit of the heads of states celebrating the 25th anniversary of the the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization in Istanbul, scheduled for May 22.

The Georgian government’s press office reports that at the meeting between the Georgian PM and United States (US) Vice President Mike Pence, the US Vice President emphasized the readiness of the new US Administration to continue its strategic partnership with Georgia and expressed his desire to host the Georgian Prime Minister in Washington DC. Moreover, Mike Pence thanked Kvirikashvili for Georgia's contributions to global security. During the meeting Kvirikashvili stated that Georgia, is a partner and ally of the US and values its strong strategic partnership. The Prime Minister invited US Vice President Pence to Georgia.

Kvirikashvili also met with United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres to discuss continued cooperation and recent developments in Georgia's occupied territories. Kvirikashvili informed Guterres of difficulties along the occupation lines and human rights violations in the occupied territories.

The parties emphasized the importance of the Geneva International Talks and the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, and the Georgian PM once again condemned the illegal referendum planned in the Tskhinvali Region, emphasizing that the international community should join forces to stand up to the Russian Federation's provocations.

Prior to meeting with Guterres, Kvirikashvili, and the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, agreed to intensify cooperation between Afganistan and Georgia concerning trade and transport.

Kvirikashvili and Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Energy, Maros Sefcovic discussed Georgia's admission to the Energy Union, which would promote Georgia's adherence to European standards and alleviate energy issues. They emphasized that membership to the Energy Union would enable Georgia to improve its energy security and boost the development of renewable and efficient energy sources. The parties discussed important regional transit projects and Georgia's importance to their successful implementation. They discussed the second phase of the Shah-Deniz Project, as well as TANAP and TAP, which will greatly increase the transit of natural gas.

The Georgian delegation also met with Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit. The key issues of their discussion included the enhancement of diplomatic relations as well as economic cooperation.

Georgia received support from the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, who told Kvirikashvili that Estonia expresses full support for Georgia on its path to European integration. They emphasized the importance of a positive relationship and cooperation during the process, particularly since Kaljulaid will be the President of the Council of the European Union in 2017.

Thea Morrison

20 February 2017 18:25