Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili is in Tallinn on May 16-17, following her visit to Latvia. Today, she met with her Estonian counterpart, President Kersti Kaljulaid.
At a joint press briefing after the meeting, the Estonian President said the two leaders discussed issues pertinent to bilateral cooperation, as well as the situation in and around Georgia and the country’s EU and NATO integration.
Kaljulaid said the relations between Georgia and Estonia are “steady” and “in good condition,” adding that her country “stands firmly side-by-side” with Georgia in its bid to join the two organizations.
“Georgia belongs there, Georgia deserves it, and Georgia needs to be involved in the EU enlargement debates. I am sure that sooner or later this will happen, if you continue developing your country both economically and also as a rule of law state,” President Kaljulaid said.
She also underscored that Estonia remains committed to supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity. “We will never forget to mention the issue of the evil line (editor’s note: implying the occupation line) among our partners, allies, and the people who are not so friendly to us.”
Pleasure to welcome president @Zourabichvili_S in #Tallinn on her first visit to #Estonia as President of #Georgia. Looking forward our close and frank cooperation. #Georgia has a special place in every Estonian’s heart and I am not an expection. #EstGeo pic.twitter.com/F11Waj3yDN
— Kersti Kaljulaid (@KerstiKaljulaid) May 16, 2019
In her remarks, President Zurabishvili said Estonia and Georgia “are following the same path to the same future.” “I am convinced that we will get where you are and we will be again in the same family,” she told the Estonian counterpart.
Zurabishvili added that the Russian occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions has created many difficulties for Georgia’s integration into EU and NATO, but noted the country has still managed to move forward with its goals “steadily, step-after-step.”
She then thanked the Estonian President for her country’s firm support of Georgia’s territorial integrity.
“One conflict cannot make the other one forgotten, because that would be a success for Russia and that is not a success that we are going to give to Russia… We are very thankful to you and to all the countries that not only do not forget, but remind Russia every day that it is violating its commitment and that it is not respecting the principles of international law,” Zurabishvili said.
She also stressed the necessity of increasing “physical” connections between the two countries. “We also have to continue to make Georgia ever closer to the European Union physically; the Black Sea has to become again a sea of connectivity, transport and closeness between peoples, a place where safety and cooperation will be enhanced,” she added.