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Prime Minister meets senior officials in Munich

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, February 21
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, praised Georgia's exceptional progress on its path towards membership in the European Union and emphasized that the EU will complete the remaining procedures in relation to its visa waiver for Georgia in the near future.

Mogherini made the statement during her meeting with the Georgian Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, on Sunday.

The Georgian PM’s Press Office reported that different issues under the Association Agreement were discussed at the meeting. Kvirikashvili stressed the Georgian Government's commitment to the effective implementation of the 2017-2020 Association Agreement Agenda.

The parties also touched upon the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit planned for late 2017.

Prior to meeting the EU representative, the Georgian PM had met his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim.

The officials spoke of the need to intensify 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 pipeline.

Binali Yildirim invited Kvirikashvili to attend the summit of the heads of states celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Istanbul, which is scheduled for May 22.

During the meeting with his Georgian colleague, the Prime Minister of Turkey reaffirmed his support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Despite meeting many senior officials, Kvirikashvili found time to deliver a speech at a panel discussion, The Fault Lines of Eurasia.

“Georgia is a country striving to be a member of the European family and the Euro-Atlantic community. A country building a stable future despite of all challenges,” he said, stressing that Georgia's territorial integrity is violated, and its two historic territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia are still occupied by Russia.

In his speech, the Prime Minister also addressed regional cooperation as a vital tool for ensuring stability in the South Caucasus.

Kvirikashvili indicated that regional projects linking Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey through the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project is one of the examples of such successful cooperation. According to him, this initiative creates new opportunities from the Silk Road's "One Belt-One Road" initiative linking Europe and Asia.

He briefly talked about ongoing reforms in Georgia and said that his team sets governance reform as one of the highest priorities, taking experience from Estonia's on e-governance, unified front office and one stop solution concept.

The Georgian PM also spoke about relations with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) noting that that NATO membership is not something that the nation is preoccupied by, but “this is a family of countries with certain values and principles where Georgia feels it belongs”.

“So NATO is something we believe to belong and we also are part of the European family. We are very gradual, very consistent, but also very patient. And we believe that one day there will be wide opportunities provided for Georgia,” he said.

The Presidents of Azerbaijan and Estonia also took part in the discussion.