On January 22, Georgian State Minister For Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili and First Deputy Foreign Minister Vakhtang Makharoblishvili discussed human rights and security situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia at the NATO-Georgia Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
Addressing the commission members yesterday, State Minister Tsikhelashvili spoke of the “ongoing Russian occupation” and continued “borderization,” arbitrary detentions, violations of human rights, and deaths of Georgian citizens in occupied regions.
“I spoke particularly critically about the humanitarian crisis in Akhalgori… We asked our partners to help, among others, through communication with Russia over the issue to immediately and unconditionally restore the movement [across the dividing line],” Tsikhelashvili stated.
She further noted that Georgia’s partner states support the country’s peace policy, encouraging the Government of Georgia to continue its path “despite the current heavy environment, caused by Russia’s construction of barricades, artificial restriction of movement and factual pressure on people, who need, want and express interest to have communication with the rest of Georgia.”
At the meeting, the parties also spoke of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, the country’s reforms and upcoming parliamentary elections, as well as on strengthening democracy, human rights protection and judiciary. According to the Reconciliation Minister, Georgia is a “significant” country in the region, which has a “very clear democratic agenda.”
Excellent meeting of the #NATO–#Georgia Commission. Informative and constructive exchange w/ ?? State Minister for Reconciliation Ketevan Tsikhelashvili & First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vakhtang Makharoblishvili on NATO-Georgia cooperation and country’s reforms efforts. pic.twitter.com/CEi6MU1g7Z
— Mircea Geoana (@Mircea_Geoana) January 22, 2020
State Minister Tsikhelashvili said that Georgia is “grateful for NATO’s continued support” to the country’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and peace process, and that Georgia “remains dedicated to its European and Euro-Atlantic integration course.” “NATO-Georgia successful partnership is crucial for country’s progress and peaceful conflict resolution as well,” she tweeted.
On his part, Deputy Minister Makharoblishvili said that at the meeting with the NATO Deputy Secretary General, they also spoke of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, which, he said, aims to introduce more “ambitious and dynamic initiatives” in 2020, aimed to assist Georgia to come closer to NATO.