Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani paid his first official visit to Sweden on November 3-6. As part of his visit, Minister Zalkaliani held meetings with Swedish officials and participated in the high–level ministerial seminar on the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership (EaP).
In his remarks at the ministerial yesterday, the Georgian Foreign Minister said “EU membership will remain the main goal of the Georgian foreign policy till the Georgian people believes in Europe.” “We will further continue knocking on the door of Europe… Today’s Georgia is drastically different from Georgia of ten years ago. Georgia today is not only a neighboring country for the European countries, but also a strategic partner,” he noted.
Thanking Sweden for hosting the ministerial, Zalkaliani said such gatherings are important in terms of assessing results yielded by the EaP initiative, as well as for identifying future goals. “This format, initiated by the Polish and Swedish governments in 2009, proved to be of pivotal, historic significance for the entirety of the region and, especially, for Georgia. In fact, for Georgia in terms of relations with the EU, the aforementioned format helped gain the status of an associated state,” the Georgian FM said.
According to the Swedish Foreign Ministry, they are proud to have been one of the initiators of the EaP and of the results it achieved. “We look forward to continuing our cooperation with our Eastern European neighbors. The EaP has even more potential,” they tweeted yesterday. Swedish FM Ann Linde also said that Sweden wants “an ambitious and forward-looking” EaP, which she said “requires courage and political will.” “Important that the Partnership remains a tool for continued EU integration for those who aspire to live by European values and norms,” Linde stated.
We want an ambitious and forward-looking #EasternPartnership – this requires courage and political will. Important that the Partnership remains a tool for continued EU integration for those who aspire to live by European values and norms. #EaP10 pic.twitter.com/u7cp9vW7Aj
— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) November 5, 2019
As part of his visit to Stockholm, the Georgian Foreign Minister met with his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde, as well as Minister of Defence, Minister of Justice and Migration, and State Secretary for EU Affairs, Peter Hultqvist, Morgan Johansson, and Paula C Olovsson, respectively. On the sidelines of the EaP ministerial, Zalkaliani held trilateral meeting with his Moldovan and Ukrainian counterparts, Nicu Popescu and Vadym Prystaiko, as well.