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Georgia’s Foreign Minister’s OP-ED in European press

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, May 18
Foreign Minister of Georgia Tamar Beruchashvili released her opposite the editorial page (OP-ED) in about 15 leading media outlets from European Union (EU) member states. Beruchashvili urged the EU to stay committed to Georgia’s visa liberalization.

In her OP-ED Beruchashvili touched upon the importance of the upcoming EaP Summit for Georgia and five other EaP countries.

Beruchashvili has called on EU leaders to distinctly express their readiness for the Eastern Partnership (EaP) states’ European future at next week's EaP Summit in Riga, Latvia.

“When the leaders of 34 countries meet on 21-22 May for the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit, we will be confronting geopolitical realities which are dramatically different from those which framed our last gathering,” reads the OP-ED.

According to Beruchashvili, even back in Vilnius in November 2013, the Russian Federation posed a serious challenge to basic principles of international law and praxis, including the sovereign right of nations to decide their own future.

“But since then, Moscow has gone much further in its aggressive attempts to tear down the very fundamentals of the European security architecture,” stated Beruchashvili.

She stated that this Summit will therefore be critical.

“We must make sure it delivers a strong message of joint commitment to the European future of our region, and backs this up with concrete measures to realize this vision. The progress towards visa liberalization for Georgia will be an important part of the picture,” reads statement.

The Minister specifically highlighted the importance of visa liberalization.

“For Georgians, visa liberalization will provide a long-awaited tangible reward for reforms as well as encourage renewed efforts. For the people of the occupied regions, it will be a symbol of what stands to be gained from reintegration with the Georgian state. For other Eastern Partnership countries, it will offer a clear incentive for reforms,” reads the OP-ED.

The statement ends with the following.

“In today’s difficult context, the shared vision and values of the Eastern Partnership are more important than ever. If these are to flourish, we must demonstrate at Riga that they can and do translate into tangible benefits for the people of the region.”