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Foreign Ministers of Georgia, Vanuatu Pledge to Deepen Ties

Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani met today with his counterpart from Vanuatu, Ralph Regenvanu, who is paying his first official visit to Tbilisi on March 14-15.

According to the Georgian MFA, the two officials spoke on ways to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation, with Minister Zalkaliani saying Tbilisi attaches “particular importance” to deepening its ties with Vanuatu.

“We consider Vanuatu a very important country in the South Pacific region, and believe that our countries have a good potential to develop bilateral ties,” Zalkaliani said.

Minister Zalkaliani informed his counterpart on the situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region, and Russia’s “illegal actions” there. He also thanked Regenvanu for “firm support” for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We are grateful that the Republic of Vanuatu is consistent in pursuing the non-recognition policy of the so-called independence of Georgia’s occupied regions, in full compliance with fundamental norms and principles of international law,” Zalkaliani stated.

According to the Georgian MFA, Regenvanu confirmed Vanuatu’s support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and expressed interest in sharing the experience of Georgia in public reforms.

Today, Ralph Regenvanu met with Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze. Tomorrow, he will meet with President Salome Zurabishvili. As part of the visit, Minister Regenvanu will also visit the occupation line with Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

Vanuatu – a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean – recognized Abkhazia in May 2011, but retracted its recognition shortly after change of government in early June of 2011. However, as of April 2012 Russia was still listing Vanuatu among those countries, which were recognizing the region.

In March 2013, Vanuatu’s Foreign Ministry denied setting up of diplomatic ties with Abkhazia. Georgia and Vanuatu established diplomatic ties in July 2013, putting an end to the confusion.

RussiaNicaraguaNauru, Venezuela and Syria are the only five UN member states that recognize independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia from Georgia.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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