Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs arrived today for a two-day visit in Tbilisi, where he has already met his Georgian counterpart, Vice Premier David Zalkaliani and Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava.
Following the top diplomats’ meeting, FM Zalkaliani said Georgia remains loyal to European values, “staunchly continuing down the path of reforms” to prepare for its 2024 EU membership bid, according to the Foreign Ministry’s press service. “We are convinced that with our Latvian friends and partners we can achieve everything,” the Georgian FM highlighted.
Stressing Lativia’s “staunch support” for Georgia’s integration into NATO, the Georgian top diplomat said that Riga recognizes the progress made by Tbilisi “and the fact the NATO-Georgian relations have never been so dynamic and essentially active as today.”
On his part, the Latvian FM said that at the meeting the sides discussed the upcoming, June 14 NATO Summit and the “necessity for its declaration to include a clear confirmation that NATO’s door is open.” FM Rinkēvičs said he awaits from the Summit a new strategic concept for the Alliance, including with regards to its Article 5, of collective defense.
The Latvian top diplomat said he will support efforts to arrange a meeting between Georgian and NATO Foreign Ministers following the Summit.
FM Rinkēvičs also added that Latvia has decided to donate 15,000 COVID-19 jabs to Georgia. It was not immediately clear which specific vaccine the diplomat referred to, or when the shots will be provided. Noteworthy that Lithuania has also pledged the same amount of vaccines to Georgia.
At the Latvian FM’s meeting with Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava, the sides discussed prospects for political and economic cooperation, the Parliament’s press service reported. The two also talked about NATO’s Open Door Policy and Georgia’s EU membership application plans.
Also on June 7, FM Rinkēvičs laid a wreath at the Tbilisi’s Heroes Square memorial. Before concluding the visit on June 8, he will meet Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, and visit the dividing line with the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.