The Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić is paying her first visit to Georgia on November 10-11 “for high-level talks” ahead of the country’s upcoming presidency of the CoE Committee of Ministers.
At a joint news briefing following the meeting with the CoE Secretary General today, Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani said that taking over the presidency is a “huge responsibility” for Georgia, and that the country will “remain committed to further promote the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, which are the core values of the CoE.”
According to Minister Zalkaliani, at the meeting the parties spoke of cooperation between Georgia and the CoE, “grave” human rights and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, Russian occupation and “illegal borderization,” as well as violation of human rights in the region.
On her part, the CoE Secretary general said “we see and we commend progress” of Georgia in particular in the areas of fight against corruption, child rights, and gender issues. “I’m very pleased to be here as a Secretary General of the Council of Europe… It’s my first visit to a member state and I think with a good reason to be first in Georgia,” Burić said.
Expressing her concern over “some issues linked to security and humanitarian situation” in Georgia’s Russian-occupied territories, the CoE Secretary General hoped that the consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia that is set to be discussed at the next committee meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, would contribute to “peaceful settlement of this important issue” for Georgia, the CoE and Europe as a whole.
Later today, the third CoE Action Plan for Georgia for 2020-2023 was unveiled, which according to Zalkaliani, “is a significant issue in our joint agenda and a good illustration of fruitful cooperation with the Council of Europe.”
Launching ceremony of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023. New Action Plan for Georgia is a significant issue in our joint agenda and a good illustration of fruitful cooperation with the Council of Europe @MarijaPBuric @coe pic.twitter.com/s4LoHWIFuJ
— David Zalkaliani (@DZalkaliani) November 11, 2019
In Tbilisi, Burić also met with the Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze. She is expected to meet with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia as well.
In this context, Burić stated that during her short visit,” she will have “an excellent opportunity to exchange on all important issues”with Georgian officials, including Georgia’s preparation for presidency, as well as the situation in occupied territories.