The Parliament heard the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ilia Darchiashvili within the format of the Ministerial Hour, reporting on the carried-out activities by the agency.
“Despite the most challenging international environment, Georgia successfully manages to address threats to its foreign policy, takes effective action that is deliberate and clear, and continues to carry out the major foreign policy priorities, which is the historical and civilizational decision of the Georgian people,” the Minister noted.
Darchiashvili dwelt on the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for strengthening the country’s sovereignty and restoring territorial integrity, de-occupation, and peaceful settlement of the conflict between Russia and Georgia, which, according to him, was carried out with the support of partner countries and organizations.
“Due to Russia’s extensive military action against Ukraine, the security situation in the area has gotten much more complicated, adding to the difficulties already there. In the midst of this chaotic scenario, we will make every effort to put the topic of the necessity for a peaceful resolution of the Russian-Georgian conflict on the international agenda. To assure the mobilization of worldwide support, we were using every diplomatic and legal tool at our disposal. In all pertinent bilateral and multilateral forums, we brought up the Russia-Georgia crisis and kept our partners updated. We have obvious support from our partners as a result of the Georgian side’s proactive diplomatic actions, as evidenced by the public statements and documents of the partner nations and international organizations,” Darchiashvili noted.
As the Minister noted, against the background of the acute security environment created in the region, it was important to hold the 56th round with the co-chairs and their organizations (EU, UN, OSCE) and the USA in close cooperation with the Georgian side.
“Our objective is to improve the Geneva negotiations and produce concrete outcomes that will lay the groundwork for securing the August 12 ceasefire agreement and launching the safe and honorable return of displaced people and refugees to their homes. This involves the deployment of international security and human rights protection mechanisms, including the arrival of the EU monitoring mission, as well as the evacuation of the Russian armed forces from the territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. The process of close collaboration with the co-chairing organizations and the EU member states will continue to receive our support and facilitation. At the same time, we will continue to discuss Georgia’s advancements toward European and Euro-Atlantic integration, including the advantages of the EU’s visa-free policy, free trade, association agreement, sharing with those who live outside the occupation line, and fostering peace and trust with them through communication and engagement,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs noted.
As he added, this year Georgia’s relations with European countries were characterized by active dynamics – numerous high-level visits were exchanged, and political consultations were held with countries such as Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, which, according to the minister, is very important for the country in the light of the geopolitical situation in the region.
As the Minister noted, the decision of the European Commission on June 23, 2022, regarding the recognition of Georgia’s European perspective formally opened the door to Georgia’s accession to the European Union and took Georgia-EU relations to a completely new stage.
“Georgia has become part of the EU enlargement package, which means that the country’s progress will be assessed from 2023, similarly to the other two countries of the associated trio and the countries of the Western Balkans,” the Minister noted.
As he remarked, Georgia has presented a specific action plan, which clearly confirmed the unwavering will that Georgia will continue to actively work on all the obligations that serve the goal of the country joining the European Union.
“I want to express my gratitude to the ruling party for starting this inclusive, transparent, and open process. The country will soon be granted candidate status if the European Commission’s recommendations are fully implemented with the help of lawmakers, government organizations, and civil society,” Darchiashvili noted.
The Minister focused on active cooperation with the European Union in the field of security and defense and emphasized that Georgia remains one of the key and reliable allies of the European Union in the region. As he noted, next year, active efforts will be made to find new opportunities in terms of economic and sectoral integration with the European Union. Besides, Georgia’s goal is to achieve maximum economic integration in the European Union through Four Freedoms.
“Georgia strives to encourage peace, stability, good neighborliness, and dynamic growth in the area, and we are working hard in that direction. Additionally, as the Prime Minister stated in his address to the General Assembly, significant action must be taken to transform the South Caucasus area into one of new potential and economic growth,” Darchiashvili added.