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German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier pays official visit to Georgia

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, October 8
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany started his official visit to Georgia. The president was greeted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Davit Zalkaliani at the Tbilisi International Airport.

According to the Minister, Germany-Georgia relations are developing intensively, and the high-level visits that have been carried out lately contribute significantly to the development of partnerships and the strengthening of German support for Georgia.

“Georgian-German relations are developing intensively. During the last year, we have hosted the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the President of Georgia has also paid a visit to Germany. This is a sign that Germany supports Georgia's territorial integrity, sovereignty, our European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” noted Zalkaliani.

During his meeting with the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, sides discussed the relations between Georgia and the EU and talked about the Euro-Atlantic integration process.

Situation in the Occupied Territories of Georgia, European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Process, Sectoral Cooperation with the European Union and Facilitating Circular Migration - these issues were discussed today by the Presidents of Georgia and Germany at face-to-face and expanded meetings at the Presidential Palace.

According to the Zourabichvili, Georgia must be returned to the international agenda and Georgia should not be forgotten. It was noted that Germany is one of Georgia's strong partners and supporters in terms of EU and NATO integration. Issues related to the deepening and development of cooperation in the field of culture and education were also discussed at the meeting.

“Tense situation in the occupied territories at any time can lead to more serious problems and it is necessary to de-escalate and find a solution,” noted Georgian president.

According to Zourabichvili, “becoming a NATO member is not a test, where you’ll be accepted if you have enough points. We are doing everything we can to become a member state.”

As the President noted, for today, there are "circumstances in NATO and the EU that may cause the process of decision making to become harder.”

German president also met with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia. As Gakharia noted during the meeting, "support of Germany has tremendous importance in the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia. Your Official Visit confirms that Germany regards Georgia as its reliable partner.”

Successful cooperation and the current potential of further intensified economic links in various sectors were discussed at the meeting. According to the German President, Georgia leads by economic reforms and current partnership momentum in the area is much welcomed.

Parties discussed the current conditions witnessed in the occupied territories of Georgia. Prime Minister stressed the significance of western partners raising the development of events in the occupied territories of Georgia at a high level both in international and bilateral formats with Russia. Head of Government of Georgia expressed gratitude to Germany for its engagement in the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM).

Progress achieved by Georgia towards its European and Euro-Atlantic integration was underlined at the meeting. PM particularly praised the role plaid by German experts in the implementation of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package.

Cooperation of the two countries in arts and culture, along with education was praised at the meeting. The contribution of Germany was commended in the development of vocational education in Georgia. Gakharia noted that the Government of Georgia highly appreciates the significant support of Germany in providing funding for education programs and stands ready to further intensify the cooperation.

During his official visit, Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet with the Speaker of Parliament, Archil Talakvadze, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, he will also visit a memorial of Heroes Fallen for Georgia’s Integrity.

The President of the Federal Republic of Germany will also meet with Georgian business representatives in Tbilisi, he will also visit Kakheti and see several local wineries. Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s visit will end on October 8.