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Italian President Pays His First Visit to Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 18
Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrived in Georgia on his first official visit to the country on July 16.

Meeting with the president at Tbilisi International Airport, the Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani stated that the arrival would be “a new impulse to Georgian-Italian relations”.

“It is a very important visit. Italy is Georgia’s strong supporter on its way to the EU and NATO. We have very good dynamics in bilateral relations,” the Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani stated.

Mattarella met with top Georgian officials and signed the memorandum of understanding between the Georgian and Italian interior, defense and education ministries before he left for Azerbaijani and Armenia.

“Italy firmly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We praise the aspiration Georgia has towards becoming a member of the EU. Georgian policy has brought very important results, such as the Association Agreement and visa liberalization. Italy has also expressed its very firm position regarding NATO-Georgia relations at the Summit in Brussels recently,” Sergio Mattarella said, adding that he is proud to be the first president of Italy who has visited independent Georgia.

President Margvelashvili thanked his Italian counterpart for his support to Georgia at the NATO summit suggesting that President Mattarella’s visit is going to further deepen the cooperation between the two countries.

“Italy has been one out of the 29 countries which from the tribune of the most powerful military alliance said that the Russian occupation in Georgia is unacceptable and spoke about the necessity of the withdrawal of Russian troops from the country,” Margvelashvili said.

President Margvelashvili planned to festively welcome his Italian counterpart. However, the ceremonies were cancelled due to the death of Georgian miners on July 16.