The FINANCIAL — The Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani met with the Deputy NATO Secretary General Mircea Geoană and EU Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi. Discussing the irreversible process of Georgia’s integration with NATO, the Alliance’s support and Georgia’s successful steps on this path, the sides highlighted Georgia’s important role in ensuring regional and global security, including through its active engagement in projects aiming at enhancing Black Sea security and in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
Meeting of Davit Zalklaiani with the EU and NATO officials was held in Brussels on July 13-14, making it his first foreign visit amid the coronavirus pandemic. At the NATO Headquarters on Tuesday, Georgia’s top diplomat met with the Deputy Secretary-General of the Alliance “for an exchange of views on cooperation between NATO and Georgia and on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and reform efforts,” local media civil.ge reported.
The sides welcomed the steps taken by the Georgian Government towards strengthening democracy, including by adopting constitutional amendments, and electoral system reforms.
Special attention was focused on the difficult security situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, which was particularly exacerbated over the recent period due to the fact that occupation forces, even amid the pandemic, increased their illegal activities and provocations. The sides expressed their concern over the incident on 11 July when the occupation forces wounded and detained a citizen of Georgia. The NATO delegation reaffirmed its strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Georgian Government’s fight against the pandemic was appraised as one of the most effective both in Europe and globally. During the meeting, David Zalkaliani introduced Victor Dolidze, Georgia’s new Ambassador to NATO, who presented his credentials to Mircea Geoană.
“Highly appreciate our partners’ commitment at NATO-Georgian Commission to continue supporting Georgia’s aspiration to NATO. Allies recognize the progress on reforms Georgia has made and condemn Russia’s occupation of, and continued pattern of illegal activities in, our regions,” David Zalkaniani wrote on Twitter.
The Deputy Secretary General and the Georgian delegation expressed their readiness to continue active cooperation leading to Georgia’s membership of NATO, both by strengthening practical instruments and enhancing political support.
Earlier this month, The European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar and Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani discussed the security and humanitarian situation in the Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. Minister Zalkaliani referred to increasing number of ‘Russia-orchestrated provocations’, the so-called ‘borderisation’ process, closure of the occupation line and restrictions imposed on free movement amid the coronavirus pandemic, local news website agenda.ge wrote.
Also, The Chair of the EU Integration Committee, David Songulashvili held the online meeting with the First Vice-President of the European Parliament from the Fine Gael (Ireland) Party, Mairead McGuinness to discuss the political processes in the country and the economic challenges. D. Songulashvili stressed the ongoing democratic reforms in Georgia, including the adopted Constitutional Changes and the new Election Code, which were positively estimated by the parties. He informed Mme. McGuinness about the pandemic preventive measures by the Georgian Government. The parties touched upon the EUAA implementation by Georgia, the Committee activity and the future plans, and underlined even more intensive representation of Georgian business to the EU market.