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Members of European Parliament meet Georgian Prime Minister, May 8, 2018. Photo: facebook.com/KvirikashviliOfficial

MEPs Visit Georgia, Meet Top Officials

A four-member delegation of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defense (SEDE) visited Georgia on May 8-10, discussing with Georgian leaders the country’s relations with the European Union and the situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

The delegation of the SEDE subcommittee includes Anna Fotyga (ECR, Poland), Clare Moody (S&D, United Kingdom), Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany) and Jozo Rados (ALDE, Croatia). According to Michael Gahler, the visit demonstrates that the MEPs “are aware of the ongoing aggression and conflict that is not yet solved.”

The parliamentarians met with the President on Tuesday, with Giorgi Margvelashvili informing the delegation members on human rights violations in the Russian-occupied regions, including the death of a Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili.

The sides also touched upon the issue of possible mechanisms “that will strengthen pressure on the Russian Federation, the occupation regime,” and on the “vacuum” in the national security system caused by the proposed abolition of the National Security Council of Georgia (NSC), according to NSC Secretary David Rakviashvili.

At his meeting with the MEPs, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili focused on the government’s “successful” record in implementing the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. He also stressed the recently-introduced legislative changes, nationwide information campaigns and stronger cooperation with EU member states would “ensure unhindered functioning of the visa free regime.”

During the visit, the MEPs also met with Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, and State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equity Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.

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