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Georgian FM Attends CoE Ministerial

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili is in Turin, Italy for May 19-20 visit to attend the 132nd Ministerial Meeting of the Council of Europe (CoE).

On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Darchiashvili has already held meetings with some of his counterparts, as well as CoE Secretary-General Marija Pejčinović Burić. He underlined the importance of the Secretary General’s annual report on “Conflict in Georgia,” with Burić reaffirming her readiness to keep the issue of Georgia high on the agenda.

The Secretary-General reiterated the importance of Georgia continuing its reforms process, especially in relation to the effective implementation of the 2020-2023 CoE plan for Georgia.

Also today, the Georgian diplomat met with German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, discussing the role of Germany in advancing Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

“At the meeting, Germany once again expressed its support for Georgia’s European aspirations,” noted the Georgian Foreign Ministry in the press release.

FM Darchiashvili also met with Ian Borg, the Maltese Foreign Minister, with the latter expressing support for Georgia’s European aspirations. Per the Georgian MFA, Malta entertained the possibility of sharing its European integration experience with Georgia.

Further, after meeting with his Slovenian counterpart Anže Logar, the Georgian Minister said “we value [Slovenia’s] steady support on our EU path.”

Foreign Minister Darchiashvili also met with the North Macedonian FM Bujar Osmani, with the sides discussing strengthening bilateral relations. According to the Georgian MFA, N. Macedonian diplomat pledged to keep the issue of Georgia’s Russian occupation high on the agenda when Skopje assumes the OSCE Chairmanship in 2023.

FM Darchiashvili had an exchange with the Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. The Austrian top diplomat said, “the free world remains firmly united behind Ukraine and it is important to also stand shoulder to shoulder with other partners and friends in the region.”

Georgia submitted the second part of its EU Questionnaire on May 10, with the opinion of the European Commission expected to be delivered to EU leaders at the June 24-25 summit.

The country is currently embroiled in controversy after pro-opposition TV chief Nika Gvaramia was sentenced to prison for charges related to abuse of power during his time managing Rustavi 2 TV. Gvaramia denies charges as politically motivated, as key MEPs and some of Georgia’s international partners questioned the fairness of the move.

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