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Georgia’s PM pays first visit to Ankara after coup attempt in Turkey

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 20
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili paid his first official visit to Turkey after last week’s coup attempt, which left at least 232 people dead and 1,400 others wounded.

Arriving in Ankara early yesterday, Kvirikashvili underlined the importance of a strong and democratic Turkey for the purpose of preserving regional stability.

He reasserted his support for Turkey's democratically elected government.

The Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication, Ahmet Arslan, met the Georgian delegation at Ankara International Airport.

According to Arslan, regarding regional stability, the Turkish Government “greatly values visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia”.

Before starting official meetings, the Georgian officials visited the Mausoleum of Ataturk and laid a wreath at the tomb of the founder of the Republic of Turkey.

Kvirikashvili left a comment in the book of memory.

"Ataturk, as one of the most prominent figures and leaders of the 20th century, occupies an outstanding position in the history of mankind," his note said.

The first official meeting was conducted between Kvirikashvili and Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey Ismail Kahraman.

The officials discussed the main aspects of cooperation between Turkey and Georgia.

They outlined successful partnership across various fields, including politics, trade and economy, transportation, energy, defence and security, cultural and humanitarian areas.

Particular attention was paid to the trade and economic relations and it was indicated that Turkey is one of Georgia's important trade partners.

The top figures also discussed the prospects of deepening the cooperation between relevant groups representing Parliament of Georgia and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Turkey reasserted Turkey's unwavering support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, as well as towards its Euro-Atlantic integration processes.

After the meeting, the Parliament Speaker demonstrated to Kvirikashvili the section of the Parliament building that was damaged during the attempted coup.

The first session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Turkey and Georgia was also scheduled within the frames of the trip. The meeting was ended by signing cooperation agreements between the governments of Turkey and Georgia.

Kvirikashvili also met his Turkish counterpart Binali Y?ld?r?m, after which the two Prime Ministers made joint statements for the press.

The Turkish interior ministry dismissed almost 9,000 police officers on Monday as part of a purge of officials suspected of involvement in the coup.

This followed the arrest of 6,000 military personnel and the suspension of almost 3,000 judges over the weekend.