Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde is paying a working visit to Tbilisi on October 1-2, where she held meetings with high-ranking Georgian officials, including President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, as well as the civil society representatives.
As reported by the Swedish Government’s press office, the key topics on the agenda include conflicts in Georgia, the ongoing hostilities over Nagorno-Karabakh, and the upcoming October 31 parliamentary elections. Sweden’s forthcoming OSCE chairmanship, set to start on January 1, 2021, is also discussed during the meetings.
Happy to be in #Georgia and meet with president @Zourabichvili_S, PM @GakhariaGiorgi and FM @DZalkaliani. Sweden is a strong supporter of Georgia’s European future. Democracy, human rights and the rule of law are primary advantages for EU approximation. pic.twitter.com/HQEww7PJgw
— Ann Linde (@AnnLinde) October 2, 2020
Commenting on the visit of his Swedish colleague, Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani underscored the significance of the visit ahead of Sweden’s takeover of the OSCE Chairmanship.
“It will be essential for the organization under Sweden’s chairmanship to be particularly actively engaged in resolving critical situations and problems such as conflicts in the OSCE region,” Georgian FM noted.
According to Minister Zalkaliani, during her meeting with FM Linde, he emphasized the need for an even more active OSCE engagement in Geneva International Discussions, aimed at advancing security situation on the ground, the return of IDPs, and the illegal “borderization” process on the political agenda.
Addressing the ongoing conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, Minister Zalkaliani introduced to his colleague PM Giorgi Gakharia’s initiative on the readiness of Tbilisi to facilitate the peace process between the conflicting parties.
Welcome @AnnLinde to 🇬🇪! 🇸🇪remains a committed friend& supporter Geo’s European integration.🇬🇪welcomes upcoming 🇸🇪 Chairmanship in OSCE also participation in new initiative of 🇸🇪 “Friends in Defence of democracy” as appreciation of Geo’s achievements on the path of democracy pic.twitter.com/xS8vpYuOaA
— David Zalkaliani (@DZalkaliani) October 2, 2020
During the meeting with PM Gakharia, the parties discussed the prospects of cooperation, both in bilateral and multilateral formats, including in frames of Sweden’s upcoming OSCE chairmanship, the Georgian Prime Minister’s office reported.
According to the same report, Prime Minister Gakharia also expressed Georgia’s will to secure full access to the European Single Market.
Speaking of the upcoming general election, Georgian PM pledged to hold October 31 parliamentary polls in “a free, impartial, transparent and democratic environment,” Georgian Government administration reported.
The Swedish Foreign Minister also plans to visit the office of the EU Monitoring Mission of Georgia.