European Council President Charles Michel arrived in Tbilisi a few minutes ago from Chișinău. Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani greeted President Michel at Tbilisi International Airport.
The European Council President will hold meetings on March 1 with Georgian high-ranking officials, including President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, and Parliamentary Speaker Archil Talakvadze. As part of his visit, President Michel will also meet with the representatives of opposition parties and travel to the occupation line.
FM Zalkaliani said earlier today that President Michel’s visit was “a clear confirmation that the EU stands by Georgia as its most important partner in the region,” stressing the significance of the visit amid the existing regional challenges.
According to the chief Georgian diplomat, the planned meetings will also focus, among others, on the occupied territories of Georgia, prospects of the EU-Georgia relations, as well as the EU’s support in containing the COVID-19 pandemic and accessing the vaccines.
The visit comes amid Georgia’s post-election crisis, sparked by the opposition’s parliamentary boycott and further deepened after the Georgian Dream Government arrested top opposition leader Nika Melia during a police raid in the United National Movement party headquarters. Melia, charged for inciting violence during June 2019 anti-occupation unrest, refused to post additional bail imposed on him after ripping off the monitoring bracelet.
From Tbilisi, the European Council President will depart on March 2 to Ukraine, the 27-member bloc’s third associated Eastern Partner.