Parliamentary Delegation of Nordic, Baltic Countries Meet Georgian Officials

TBILISI - The Speakers and Vice-Speakers of the Parliaments of the Baltic and Nordic states, who arrived in Tbilisi on March 20th, held meetings with Georgian officials.

The Nordic and Baltic countries make up the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8), which facilitates open discussions on international topics and topics vital to the Nordic-Baltic region.

The parliamentary delegations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were hosted by the parliament Speaker of Georgia, Irakli Kobakhidze, on Tuesday.

“It is a historical event, the unification of officials of our partner countries to discuss our common interests and make the useful decisions,” Kobakhidze said, addressing the delegates.

Georgian Parliament Speaker thanked the guests for supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and EU and NATO aspirations.

“Let me express my gratitude to each member of NB8 for your significant contribution to democracy, good governance, and rule of law. We highly appreciate the attention NB8 attaches to issues that are important for Georgia,” he added.

Ināra Mūrniece, the Speaker of the Latvian Saeima, thanked the Chairman for his hospitality. According to her, the joint visit of NB8 Delegation is a demonstration of their support for Georgia. 

“NB8 is a unique format of regional cooperation based on a common agenda. We are open for dialogue with our partners and with Georgia of course. NB8 enjoys excellent partnership and friendship with Georgia[…]Georgia is one of the closest partners of NATO and EU. We hail choice of Georgia and further support the country’s EU and NATO aspirations,” she stated.

The NB8 delegation also met with the Foreign Relations and the EU Integration Committees of Georgian parliament, as well as with different factions.

“Georgia is devoted to its aim of building a European country with European democracy and institutions,” Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, said in address to the NB8 Delegation at the governmental administration.

The PM thanked the guests for their visit to Georgia and for their assistance to the country.

“I am proud of Georgia’s achievements, but this progress would be impossible without your assistance,” Kvirikashvili said.

The representatives discussed Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process, Georgia’s success in the process of visa-liberalization, as well as recent developments in Georgia’s occupied regions.

The NB8 delegation once again confirmed their support to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The delegates also met with the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, at the Presidential Administration. The key issues of the meeting were Russia’s actions on the occupied territories and further cooperation between the NB8 countries and the Black Sea Region.

On Wednesday, the NB 8 Delegation visited the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II at the Patriarchate.

“20 percent of Georgian territories are occupied by Russia[…]I have been the Metropolitan of Abkhazia for 11 years, but I cannot go there and meet local believers,” Ilia II told the delegation.

Prior holding the meetings with the Georgian officials, the delegation went to the administrative boundary line (ABL) between the occupied South Ossetia region and Georgia.

The delegates met with a family living behind the barbed wire fences in the Central Georgia region in the village of Khurvaleti. The delegation listened to the recent problems of the local population.

Moreover, the NB8 delegation went to the Gori Office of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and met with the mission representatives.

By Thea Morrison

23 March 2017 01:24