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Georgian, French FMs Launch Inaugural ‘Amilakhvari Dialogue’ in Paris

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On November 2, Georgian and French Foreign Ministers, Davit Zalkaliani and Jean-Yves Le Drian, respectively, held the inaugural meeting of “Amilakhvari Dialogue” named after a decorated Georgian officer of the French Foreign Legion who died in combat for France in 1942.

A declaration on launching a bilateral Franco-Georgian dialogue was singed in Paris in February 2019, aimed to strengthen the two countries’ cooperation in a number of spheres, including politics, security and trade. The next annual meeting will be held in Tbilisi in 2020.

In his opening remarks, FM Zalkaliani noted that Franco-Georgian relations “have transformed in such a manner,” throughout the years that it has “moved to a new level,” leading to “establishment of a format of strategic dialogue.”

“It is without a doubt that this institutionalized platform gives a unique opportunity to the Georgian and French parties to discuss, exchange views on cooperation between Georgia and France, as well as to determine further perspectives [of bilateral cooperation],” Zalkaliani stated.

He also said that his country values “strong, consecutive and efficient” support of France to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and its contribution to “peaceful regulation” of a Russo-Georgia conflict, “reconciliation of societies divided by occupation lines,” and international “nonrecognition policy.”

In his speech, the Georgian FM spoke of “critically grave” human rights and humanitarian situation in Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, construction of checkpoints, erection of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers, illegal detentions, ethnic cleansing, restrictions of freedom of movement along the occupation line, as well as death of citizens of Georgia in the occupied regions.

At a separate meeting with his French counterpart, FM Zalklaiani spoke of humanitarian consequences of Russian occupation, including the recent detention and sentencing of Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili as well.

According to Zalkaliani, Jean-Yves Le Drian told him that the French President Macron spoke about Georgia at a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and that “this communication will continue in future.”

In Paris, Georgian FM also met with President Macron’s Foreign Policy Adviser Emmanuel Bonne, discussing the human right situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, as well as Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration agenda.

From France, Zalkaliani will travel to London, where on December 3-4 he will participate in “NATO Engages: Innovating the Alliance” which is an “official NATO outreach event” held along with the NATO Leaders Meeting.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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