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Georgian FM Attends NATO Ministerial

By Khatia Bzhalava
Friday, April 8, 2022
Newly appointed Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilia Darchiashvili is on an official visit to Brussels between Wednesday and Friday to hold a series of high-level meetings with EU and NATO officials.

Darchiashvili attended the NATO Ministerial yesterday, where he held face-to-face meetings with Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and top diplomats of the Netherlands and Turkey. NATO Secretary-General has stressed the importance of NATO partner countries attending the forum, underscoring that their presence at the ministerial is a sign of unity in supporting Ukraine.

Darchiashvili and the Secretary-General of NATO discussed the NATO-Georgia cooperation and the security environment in the Black Sea region. As Darchiashvili noted, inviting Georgia to the NATO Ministerial is another expression of the alliance's support for Georgia.

According to the statement of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the sides exchanged views on the security environment in the region and reaffirmed their readiness to cooperate actively in the future. NATO’s firm support toward Georgia and its Euro-Atlantic integration was also stressed.

NATO Secretary-General announced at the briefing after the end of the event that NATO would step up its cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine, stressing that the Alliance would also provide equipment to help Ukraine protect against chemical and biological threats. According to him, the allies agreed to help other partner countries in strengthening their resilience and shoring up their ability to defend themselves as well.

As he noted, NATO could increase support for Georgia through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, including “in areas like situational awareness, secure communications and cyber.”

Darchiashvili noted that he had an opportunity to have a brief exchange with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba at the forum.

“We agreed to continue close communication and I reiterated Georgia's support to Ukraine,” Georgian FM tweeted.

Within the framework of NATO Ministerial, Georgian FM also met with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. The sides focused on the crisis in Ukraine and the difficult security environment in the region. Turkish PM also emphasized the support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

FM Darchiashvili met with Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra as well and discussed Georgia’s EU membership application and the situation in the Russian-occupied regions of Tskhinvali/South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

According to the statement published by the Foreign Ministry of Georgia, Wopke Hoekstra stressed the Netherland’s desire to strengthen cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia, which was reflected in the Foreign and Security Policy of the Netherlands. Georgia's progress on both European and Euro-Atlantic integration was also pointed out.