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President of Georgia pays official visit to France

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, April 22
President Giorgi Margvelashvili and the First Lady are paying an official visit to France.

The President had a meeting with the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, in the headquarters of UNESCO on April 20.

The sides discussed enhancing the relationships between Georgian and UNESCO in the fields of science, culture and education.

“We have cooperated with Georgia in the field of cultural heritage protection for 20 years already. I think that there is great potential for bilateral cooperation between us,” stated Bokova.

Georgia’s President noted the close cooperation between Georgia and UNESCO since Georgia became a member state in 1992.

According to the Presidential Administration, an official welcome ceremony was held in the Les Invalides historic palace in Paris.

At the entrance of the palace Georgian President was met by Harlem Desir, French State Secretary for European Affairs of the French Republic and the General Deputy of French Armed Forces, Pierre Grego.

Moreover, on April 21 Giorgi Margvelashvili opened the exhibition of historic archive of the documents from the First Democratic Republic of Georgia in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France.

President Margvelashvili thanked the French side for their assistance of Georgia’s first refugee government, who were forced to flee their homeland and find shelter in France after the Red Army invaded Georgia in 1921.

“We have a highly friendly relationship with France, not only on the political level, but also on the battlefield. We are both fighting for establishing peace in the world,” said Margvelashvili.

Harlem Desir gifted President Margvelashvili with two documents from the archive and noted that France supports Georgia’s independence and territorial integrity.

“France continues bilateral cooperation with Georgia in the diplomatic, political, economic and humanitarian spheres," stated Harlem Desir.

President of Georgia was also hosted at an official dinner at the International Foreign Relationships Institute (IFRI) in Paris.

The meal was held in the format of debates. French political analysts, diplomats, businessmen, politicians and the media representatives all took part.

The President of Georgia spoke about the geopolitical role of Georgia, European perspectives and ongoing reforms in Georgia, as well as relations with Russia, the country's European and Euro-Atlantic perspectives and bilateral relations between Georgia and France.

Margvelashvili will also meet with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace.

The official visit of the President of Georgia to France will end on April 23.