On October 17, Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani reported to the Parliament of Georgia on a plenary session at the “Ministerial Hour.” In his speech, Zalkaliani spoke of the recent developments and challenges that Georgia faces.
According to the Foreign Minister, the goal of strengthening Georgia’s sovereignty and peaceful restoration of its territorial integrity remains among the key priorities of the country’s foreign policy strategy and the Government’s action plan.
“To achieve this goal, our government has chosen a peaceful, constructive, [and] rational policy, which is a major precondition for our country’s stable development. This is the most straight-forward way towards rebuilding trust and relationship amongst those people that are divided by the line of occupation,” Minister Zalkaliani said.
He also noted that “we live in a rather difficult geopolitical environment,” and that global developments have a “huge impact” on Georgia. In spite of such challenges, with its “right, [and] responsible attitude,” the Georgian government has managed to ensure that Georgia remains on the agenda of international community, Zalkaliani said.
Minister Zalkaliani also noted that Georgia is using all of the international tools and mechanisms available to “strictly condemn” Russia’s actions. “I acknowledge at every single second that there is a country standing behind me, for which now peace, stability and development are vital,” he said.
On the meeting with Sergey Lavrov
In his parliamentary address, the Georgian Foreign Minister spoke of the recent meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He later answered questions on the topic from the ruling party and opposition lawmakers as well.
“This meeting was timely, necessary,” Davit Zalkaliani told the lawmakers, explaining that the decision to hold the meeting with Lavrov was made after “active communication” with the country’s partners, amid the continuous “borderization” in Georgia.
“I am entirely confident that this was the right decision… because it was necessary – based on consultations with our partners and also based upon our own inner conviction that [it was important] – to talk about those issues,” Minister Zalkaliani said.
According to him, during the 30-minute meeting with Lavrov, the two ministers also discussed the existing negotiation formats, as well as the Russia flight ban. Zalkaliani said, he held direct consultations with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia ahead of the meeting.