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Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Bid Farewell to EUMM Georgia Head

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili held separate meetings with Marek Szczygieł, the head of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia, to bid farewell to the Ambassador as his term in the position ends this week.

The EUMM, an unarmed civilian monitoring mission deployed by the EU Member States to Georgia to contribute to the stabilization on the ground following the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, has worked for around 14 years to ensure no return of hostilities. The Mission consists of around 340 staff members, including 220 staff members from 26 different EU member states. The big majority are monitors – patrol members for Administrative Boundary Lines, human security, and compliance patrols. 
 
Ambassador Szczygieł assumed his duties as the head of the EUMM in Georgia in March 2020. According to the EUMM office in Georgia, no replacement has been chosen yet.

Meeting with PM Garibashvili

While meeting with the head of the EUMM, Prime Minister Garibashvili thanked the Ambassador for the “effective work” of the mission under his leadership. In that context, the two sides noted that the EU Monitoring Mission prevents the “escalation of tensions and contributes to ensuring security on the ground” along the occupation line.

It was also noted during the meeting that the presence of the monitoring mission in Georgia “clearly reflects the important role of the European Union in dealing with the consequences of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war and in the peaceful settlement of the conflict.”

Meeting with FM Darchiashvili

During their meeting, FM Darchiashvili and Ambassador Szczygieł focused on the ‘importance and role” of the EUMM as the only international mission operation in Georgia in “preventing the escalation of the situation on the ground.”

In that vein, the two sides discussed the “difficult situation” in Georgia’s occupied regions as regarding security, human rights, and the humanitarian situation.

Minister Darchiashvili also expressed his gratitude for the EU’s support and involvement in the peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict, and thanked the Ambassador for his efforts to “strengthen peace and security.”

Ambassador Szczygieł’s Statement

Addressing his departure, Ambassador Szczygieł tweeted on 7 December that “serving as head of EUMM has been the most rewarding professional experience in my career. I am immensely proud to have been part of the EUMM Georgia team during so many landmark moments in the Mission’s history.”

“I am confident that EUMM will continue to contribute to stability and security in Georgia and the entire region,” he underscored.

Note: This article was updated on 7 December at 16:36 to reflect Ambassador Szczygieł’s tweet.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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