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Georgia and United Kingdom: strategic partnership

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, November 25
The current cooperation format, entitled the Wardrop Dialogue, existing between Georgia and the United Kingdom has moved to a new stage, and from now it will be called the Wardrop Georgian-British Strategic Dialogue.

The statement was made by Georgia’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday, adding that the decision was made at the third round of the Wardrop Dialogue held in Tbilisi on November 24, during the visit of the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Sir Alan Duncan.

The British official arrived in Tbilisi on November 23. He was welcomed by the Georgia’s Acting Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze.

According to the Georgian minister the United Kingdom and Georgia have moved to a higher level of strategic cooperation.

“Joint steps made by Georgia and Britain in recent years confirm the importance of strategic cooperation between us. The State Minister's visit also shows that the United Kingdom, as an allay and a partner state of Georgia, remains committed to close cooperation and further strengthening of ties with Georgia,” stated Janelidze at a joint press conference.

He also added that the UK plays an extremely important role in the development of democracy, security and defense of Georgia.

Sir Alan Duncan stated that the UK supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemned Russia’s ratification of a military deal with Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.

“We condemned this step of Russia. It is absolutely unacceptable action and challenges your sovereignty. We are here to protect your interests,” Duncan stressed.

The UK official underlined that Georgia is playing a vital role in strengthening North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) security and in keeping the stability and safety in the region.

After the visit to the Foreign Ministry, Sir Alan held a meeting with Georgia’s Acting Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

The parties discussed the main aspects of partnership between the UK and Georgia. Focus has been made on the significance of the Wardrop Strategic Dialogue and prospects of intensified trade and economic relations on the background of active political interaction. It was noted that the UK is one of the largest investors in Georgia.

Discussions were about the existing and successful cooperation in the areas of national security and defense. In the opinion of the Georgian authorities, cooperation in crisis management issues is a key aspect in Georgia-UK relations.

Moreover, the sides discussed the outcome of British referendum on exiting the European Union (EU). In the opinion of the State Minister Brexit will not lead to any barriers in the relationship with Georgia and committed to the solid support of the country by the UK.

The bilateral political colaboration – the Wardrop Dialogue – founded in 2014, is dedicated to the discussions of British-Georgian bilateral, regional and multilateral co-operation.

The Wardrop Dialogue facilitates for meeting of thematic groups. Talking points includes co-operation in political, security and defense spheres, as well as economic, trade, cultural, educational and people-to-people relations issues.

Sir Alan will leave Georgia on Friday.