Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani is visiting Brussels on June 23-24 along with the two other FMs of the newly-established Associated Trio, Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba and Moldova’s Aureliu Ciocoi. The three top diplomats met today EU foreign policy chief and delivered statements afterward.
Kicking off the press conference, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell welcomed closer coordination between the three states of the Eastern Partnership, an initiative he said envisages “creating links not only between EU and our partner countries but among the partners themselves.”
Continuing on the three countries’ objective to join the 27-member bloc, High Representative Borrell highlighted that deepening cooperation will be possible if Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova fully enact reforms in “key areas that require swift, thorough and sincere improvements.”
The top EU diplomat drew the three Foreign Ministers’ attention to the upcoming December 2021 Eastern Partnership Summit, where the sides will have an opportunity to set in motion a new “post-2020” agenda for cooperation, currently in works. “We are looking forward … to develop relations based on principles of inclusivity and differentiation,” said High Representative Borrell.
The Georgian Foreign Minister said that besides a common goal of European integration, the three countries share “a number of challenges,” which they discussed at today’s meeting. “Unresolved conflicts with Russia remain the biggest challenge for European security as a whole … [and] have posed a serious threat to [the three countries’] security, democracy and economic development,” he said.
“Russia’s actions in the Eastern Partnership region have significantly destabilized Europe’s eastern frontiers,” the Georgian top diplomat highlighted. Expressing commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts with Russia, FM Zalkaliani said “we are looking forward to the EU’s enhanced engagement in promoting peace and security in the region.”
The Moldovan FM said the sides agreed at the meeting to proceed with dialogue in “sectorial matters” and to look for possibilities in increasing cooperation between the three countries and the European Union through the Associated Trio.
Ukrainian top diplomat said meanwhile that the three Foreign Ministers put forward “some very specific proposals” on the dialogue between the Trio and the EU. “We made very clear that Eastern Partnership is an initiative that needs another boost to the next level, and the upcoming Summit will be the turning point,” FM Kuleba added.
During the June 23-24 visit, FM Zalkaliani also met European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders yesterday, to discuss the humanitarian issues in the Russian-occupied territories, including the arbitrary detention of Georgian citizen Zaza Gakheladze by the occupying forces in the Tskhinvali Region. “I appealed to our European partners that the issue is raised at a very high level on the EU-Russia relations agenda,” FM Zalkaliani noted.
- In Kyiv, Georgian, Ukrainian, Moldovan FMs Establish ‘Associated Trio’ Format
- Georgia, EU Sign Association Agreement