The state visit of Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili to the Republic of Turkey took place on 1st of june. The PM held a meeting with the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, within the framework of a one-day visit. Before meeting with the Turkish President, Gharibashvili visited the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, laid a wreath at his grave and left a note in the book of remembrance in the mausoleum.
PM Garibashvilis pays official visit to Turkey
By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, June 2
The leaders of partner countries held a joint briefing after the meeting, where the president of Turkey emphasized that this year is important in the sense that the Georgian diplomatic mission in Ankara was opened 100 years ago and marks the 30th anniversary of Georgia's independence.
Erdogan focused on trade partnership relations with Georgia and noted that Turkey has been Georgia's number one trade partner for 14 years. According to him, in 2020 there was a slight decrease in trade volume, but the goal is to increase the figure to three billion dollars in the shortest time possible. He also remarked on the work on expanding the free trade agreement, adding that countries are working hard to increase trade potential and expand customs cooperation in this area.
Turkish president also underscored that in the field of energy, as well as in all other spheres, Turkish investments have been made in Georgia, the volume of which is $214 million. “We have implemented great, important projects with Georgia, which completely changes the face of the region. One such strategic project is the Southern Gas Corridor, on which we have created this platform. Through connecting mechanisms and various combined corridors, we have initiated multifaceted cooperation," Erdogan said.
In this context, he also noted the East-West Corridor, which connects China and Turkey from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea - one of the components of the Silk Road, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, transports cargo from both our country and Russia. The meeting also discussed how to increase the railroad through the use of the Marmara Tunnel.
According to him, leaders, as well as delegations discussed important issues of bilateral relations and shared views on regional issues. Erdogan also spoke of strengthening the importance and peace of the region, referring to the trilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan in this regard: "Turkey supports all trilateral cooperation, be it Georgia-Azerbaijan-Armenia or Georgia-Azerbaijan-Turkey. We decided to hold a meeting of the Supreme Strategic Council as soon as possible too.”
Erdogan emphasized Turkey’s support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty at all levels, on all platforms, as well as Georgia’s integration into Euro-Atlantic organizations.
After expressing gratitude for a warm reception, PM Gharibashvili underlined that Turkey is a very important friendly state and strategic partner for Georgia. He spoke of the important projects of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-KArs, Tbilisi-Erzurum. The PM said he is looking forward to the next meeting of the strategic council, adding that 3 independent states of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey have very close cooperation with each other. According to Gharibashvili, the meeting also touched upon the humanitarian crisis in occupied territories of Georgia. At the end of the briefing, the PM invited Erdogan to Tbilisi.
The Georgian delegation included Ministers of Foreign Affair, Economy and Sustainable Development, Environment and Agriculture, as well as Chairman of the Government of Adjara and Head of Government.