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In Quotes: Georgian Officials, Politicians on German Chancellor’s Visit to Tbilisi

Below is a compilation of some assessments from Georgian politicians on a two-day visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Georgia.

Irakli Kobakhidze – Parliamentary Chairman: “Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit is of special importance for us. She is not only the German political leader, but she is the political leader on the European and global scale. Therefore, her support is especially important for us. During her two-day visit, Chancellor Merkel voiced a number of very serious messages – she supports our territorial integrity and sovereignty and, let me reiterate, that it is especially important for us.”

Davit Zalkaliani – Foreign Minister: “I would like to focus on Chancellor Merkel’s visit to the occupation line, which was a clear confirmation of Germany’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. She said during the meetings as well as in discussions with students that these territories of Georgia [Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia] are occupied, that she constantly stresses in her bilateral talks with the Russian Federation that this injustice cannot persist, and that specific steps should be taken to de-occupy these territories and to keep Georgia’s issue on the international agenda.”

Giorgi Abashishvili – Head of the President’s Administration: “It is especially important that Chancellor Merkel once again emphasized Germany’s support for the territorial integrity of Georgia, to de-occupation, to Georgia’s NATO and EU integration. This is especially important because Germany serves as an example for many countries, in terms of making decisions. Following this visit, I also believe Georgian-German economic cooperation will move to a new level.”

Grigol Vashadze – Presidential candidate from the United National Movement: “I cannot see anything historic in terms of its results. It is good that she once again conformed her support towards our country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is great that the Chancellor visited the occupation line. She was born in the German Democratic Republic, and watched the Berlin wall for many years, so [the Chancellor] could now see the Berlin barbed wire on the territory of a European state.  In this context, it was of course a very positive visit, [a type of] which should be held in Georgia as much as possible… But as for results, I am unfortunately very disappointed.”

Sergi Kapanadze – member of European Georgia: “The messages voiced by the German Chancellor are not new for us. Germany has been sending similar messages for over 10 years if not more. Thus, their position towards Georgia, including its territorial integrity and general support for the country, remains unchanged. We expect at such visits that the government would push the issues that are in our national interests. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister did not do it. The issues of MAP, NATO’s wider military presence in Georgia should be raised during similar meetings. But our government missed this opportunity, again.”

Nino Burjanadze – leader of Democratic Movement – United Georgia: “I have an impression that the most important messages voiced by Chancellor Merkel were left without attention. For me, it is very important that [Chancellor] Merkel’s position is the same as mine. She said what I am talking about for already a long time. The most influential leader of the important European state with a decisive say in NATO told us that Georgia will not become an EU member in the near future; it will not become a NATO member either until the conflicts are resolved.”

Salome Zurabishvili – non-partisan presidential candidate: “It is very important that the German Chancellor traveled to the occupation line. The fact that she traveled there together with the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia is a very symbolic message, and we should pay attention to that. It is also very important that an agreement has been signed to build a gas storage facility in Georgia that is extremely important for our independence.”

The German Chancellor traveled to Georgia as part of her South Caucasus trip. Today Chancellor Merkel is in Yerevan, and will meet the Armenian leadership. She will end her trip tomorrow in Azerbaijan.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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