As part of her ongoing visit to France, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili met with the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić, and the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, after participating in the World Forum for Democracy.
Meeting with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
While meeting with Secretary-General Burić, President Zurabishvili discussed Georgia’s European perspective and the importance of the Council of Europe’s support for the country to attain EU membership.
According to the President’s press service, President Zurabishvili noted that “no democracy is perfect, but Georgia deserves candidate status.” “Accordingly, it is important that Georgia receives even more support from its partners on this path of European integration,” she said.
According to the same information, the parties also discussed Georgia’s implementation of the European Commission’s 12 recommendations. The Secretary-General “noted that it is important to deepen the sectoral cooperation between Georgia and the Council of Europe, and share experiences.”
The Georgian President and Secretary-General Burić drew attention to the challenges facing Georgia’s democracy, during which President Zurabishvili said, “Today, the development of democracy in Georgia is hindered by polarization.”
“We must definitely overcome and reduce polarization because at any moment it can be used against us,” President Zurabishvili remarked and brought attention to the process of national consent which she initiated to that end.
President Zurabishvili thanked the Secretary-General for supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and invited her to the Tbilisi Women’s International Conference in 2023.
Meeting with Iceland’s Prime Minister
During her meeting with Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir, President Zurabishvili discussed steps for deepening bilateral cooperation, as well as issues like gender equality, children’s rights, and climate change.
Per the President’s press service, the two sides focused on Georgia’s European perspective, at which point President Zurabishvili reiterated that 80% of Georgians support European integration.
Speaking about the situation in the region and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the President also noted that “small states must protect their interests with united efforts so that their voices are heard and taken into account.”
Upon concluding the meeting, President Zurabishvili invited PM Jakobsdóttir to the Tbilisi Women’s International Conference as well.
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