Following an invitation from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Georgian FM, Deputy Prime Minister David Zalkaliani arrived in Turkey on June 18 to participate in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, bringing together political leaders, diplomats, and academics to discuss regional and global challenges.
It is an honor to participate in #AntalyaDiplomacyForum at t/invitation of my🇹🇷 colleague @MevlutCavusoglu. Meetings of leaders of this magnitude are of great importance given t/role of diplomacy in responding to regional & global challenges.#AntalyaDiplomacyForum #MEET4DIPLOMACY— David Zalkaliani (@DZalkaliani) June 18, 2021
During his June 18-19 visit, the Georgian FM took part in the “South Caucasus: New Opportunities for Regional Peace and Cooperation” panel. Against the backdrop of the Russian destructive policy in the region, Georgian FM underlined the importance of the strategic partners for Georgia, including the United States, European Union, and Turkey, the Foreign Ministry reported.
“Despite the demonstration of a constructive approach by the Georgian side, as well as positive signals that Georgia is ready for de-escalation, the occupation continues,” FM Zalkaliani underscored at the panel, adding that the Geneva International Discussions (GID), the multilateral forum to address security and humanitarian consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, unfortunately, fails to reach tangible advancements in central directions.
On June 18, the Georgian FM met with the Deputy Secretary General of the UN Miroslav Jenča, with whom FM Zalkaliani discussed “the dire humanitarian situation and human rights violations” in the occupied regions of Georgia.
According to the Foreign Ministry, particular attention was paid to illegally detained Zaza Gakheladze, a Georgian citizen who was sentenced to twelve years and six months in prison by the Kremlin-backed Tskhinvali authorities. The parties noted that “everything must be done with the engagement of the international community to ensure the release of Gakheladze from illegal incarceration.”
Within the framework of the diplomatic forum, FM Zalkaliani also held a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on June 19, where the parties discussed the joint actions and events regarding the countries’ integration into NATO. The sides underlined that the recent increase in high-level visits supports both states “in overcoming common challenges on the international level.”