Ilia Darchiashvili, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with the Czech Republic’s Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, on 10 November to discuss bilateral cooperation, the importance of continuing high-level political dialogue, and Georgia’s EU aspirations.
Minister Darchiashvili emphasized, “The fact that the visit of the Foreign Affairs Minister Jan Lipavský is taking place during the Czech Republic’s Presidency of the European Union carries a special weight, which, on the one hand, is clear proof of our outstanding relations, and on the other hand, emphasizes the firm support of the Czech Republic for Georgia’s accession to the European Union.”
“In this difficult and challenging time, the support of the closest partners is of particular importance,” he underscored. “We appreciate that the Czech Republic is our loyal ally and supporter.”
On his part, Minister Lipavský stated, “We discussed Czechia’s support for Georgia’s European aspirations. I assured him that Georgia can count on our support. We stand with Georgia also in facing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”
Progress on EU Reforms
During the meeting, Minister Darchiashvili informed the Czech Foreign Minister about the ongoing process of implementing the European Commission’s 12 recommendations and Georgia’s progress.
In that context, FM Darchiashvili highlighted that the recognition of Georgia’s European perspective opened the door for Georgia’s accession to the EU. “The message of European partners and friends that Georgia’s future lies in the European Union is a strong motivation to successfully go through every stage of this road,” he said.
Per the Ministry, FM Darchiashvili also talked about deepening Georgia-EU cooperation in the field of security and highlighted that Georgia remains one of the main allies of the EU in the region. To that end, the Ministry stated that several high-level visits are planned from Brussels to Georgia by the end of 2022 to discuss common interests and challenges in the region.
In the context of security, FM Darchiashvili noted that the Czech Republic is a staunch supporter of Georgia’s ongoing process toward NATO integration.
War in Ukraine and Georgia’s Occupied Regions
In their discussion on security, the two Foreign Ministers also focused on the ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. In that regard, FM Darchiashvili updated his Czech counterpart about the ongoing security and human rights situation in the occupied regions, while FM Lipavský expressed his support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
Georgia’s Strategic Role
The two sides likewise discussed Georgia’s strategic role as a transport and logistics regional center, with attention focused on Georgia’s importance in strengthening European energy security.
The Czech FM is also expected to meet with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili during his visit to Georgia.