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Prime Minister Meets NATO Gen-Sec, European Commission High Rep

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, May 20, 2022
The two-day working visit of Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili to Brussels has ended, and high-level meetings were held with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metzola, the High Representative of the European Commission Joseph Borrell and the European Commissioner Oliver Varhei.

“After Georgia completed the European Commission's self-assessment questionnaire, it was very important to personally discuss with EU officials the progress our country has made in the reform process, the EU's association, and the implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement,” PM wrote.

The head of government noted that Europe is the choice not only of Georgia's political leadership, but also of the Georgian people, and thanked its European partners for supporting Georgia on this path.

During his meeting with Borrell, PM spoke about the importance of Georgia's application for EU membership, the process of completing the questionnaire, and future measures. The Head of Government stressed the importance of Georgia's full membership in the EU. The sides also reviewed the dynamics of intensive cooperation in recent years. The meeting noted the progress the country has made in implementing economic, political, and democratization reforms, and focused on the implementation of the Association Agreement and successful cooperation in various fields.

The security environment in the region was discussed, as well as the situation created by the Russian military aggression in Ukraine.

“We shared with the Prime Minister of Georgia the concern over the so-called Tskhinvali region, which we do not recognize, and will continue to support Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Borrell said.

According to reports, during the talks, EU High Representative Joseph Borrell noted the EU's support for strengthening Georgia's resilience in the context of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified intervention in Ukraine. He also reaffirmed the EU's strong support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.

Borell stressed the importance of inter-party cooperation and unity between internal political forces, which is key to achieving concrete and rapid progress in the priorities of important reforms to strengthen democracy in Georgia. The EU is ready to stand by Georgia in these efforts; Namely, in overcoming domestic political polarization; Establishing an inclusive and credible judicial reform agenda, and implementing agreed-upon constitutional reforms in this regard. This is all the more important given Georgia's application for EU membership.

The Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg hosted the Georgian PM at his residence. The meeting once again highlighted Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations, which is a top priority of the country's foreign and security policy. Gharibashvili underlined Georgia's close cooperation with the Alliance in the Euro-Atlantic integration process, as a result of which Georgia effectively uses all the practical tools on the path to membership.

The meeting underlined the strong support and close cooperation of both the Alliance and the partner countries towards Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The reforms implemented by Georgia on the way to integration into the Alliance were positively assessed.

The role of Georgia as a strong and reliable partner of the Alliance and its important contribution to the process of ensuring global security, as well as to ensuring the security of the Black Sea region was reiterated. Parties expressed hope that Georgia's progress and aspirations will be adequately reflected in decisions in terms of both political support for the country's aspirations and strengthening of its practical capabilities.

The sides also discussed the issues and expectations for the preparation of the NATO Madrid Summit.

The conversation also touched on the security environment in the region and the war in Ukraine, on which the PM reiterated the solidarity of the Georgian people towards the Ukrainian people.

The Prime Minister of Georgia thanked the Secretary-General for his personal efforts and for playing a key role in Georgia's progress on the path to NATO integration

According to Jens Stoltenberg, NATO fully supports Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.