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NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative Meets Georgian Officials in Tbilisi

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, October 21
Spanish diplomat Javier Colomina, who took the office of the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia back in September paid his first official visit to Georgia.

On October 19-20, he met with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Georgia, the Prime Minister, the President, and the Speaker of the Parliament. The Special Representative also visited one of the sections of the occupation line in the village of Odzisi, central Georgia, which separates the country from the currently Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region and got acquainted with the current situation. He said that he was ‘shocked’ by what he had seen and thanked the Georgian government for providing him with detailed information on the situation on the ground.

Colomina said that both Georgia and NATO are ‘deeply concerned’ by Russia’s aggressive actions in Georgia and the region.

“Russia is threatening regional peace and stability. In this region, Russia often uses the threat of force and threatens to maintain stability, both in Georgia and in other countries in the region, such as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova,” he said.

During the meeting with President Salome Zurabishvili which was held at the Orbeliani Palace, President Zurabishvili briefed the newly appointed Special Representative of the NATO Secretary-General on the dire humanitarian situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. The importance of the forthcoming NATO Summit 2022 in the process of Georgia's integration into the Alliance, was also discussed.

The sides discussed the situation in the region, Black Sea security issues, and opportunities for future partnership with the Alliance in this regard. According to Javier Colomina, the stability of the region is important for the Alliance. During the meeting, they discussed the new US-Georgia defense and security memorandum, and Colomina assessed the agreement as a significant success for Georgia.

At the meeting with the foreign minister, Colomina noted the significant contribution of Georgia to the NATO International Peacekeeping Mission, as well as the management of humanitarian and evacuation processes from Afghanistan, and expressed gratitude to the Georgian side.

“Georgia is NATO's extremely important partner, and it already has access to all practical tools in our hands. We are willing to have all-encompassing relations with Georgia,” he said after meeting Zalkaliani.

Special representative reaffirmed the alliance's support for Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

He also emphasized that Georgia plays "an important role in Azerbaijani-Armenian relations and regional peace."