Eighth Strategic Dialogue between Georgia, UK
On January 26, Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili visited the United Kingdom, where he co-chaired the annual Wardrop Dialogue with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. The ministers discussed Russian hybrid threats, the situation in Ukraine, and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. The UK and Georgia agreed to increase cooperation in several priority areas, including countering Putin’s aggression through international sanctions and supporting Georgia’s aspirations for closer ties with NATO.
According to the Foreign Office, the Foreign Secretary used the meeting to underline the UK’s unwavering support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which continue to be challenged by Russia’s hybrid tactics since the 2008 war, including the ongoing construction of barbed wire fences along the administrative borders with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stated that “few understand the reality of Russian aggression better than the Georgian people” and pledged to continue to support Georgia in countering hybrid threats from Russia. In light of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the UK side recognized the need to strengthen and deepen cooperation with countries, including Georgia, that are particularly vulnerable to Russian aggression.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry reported that the UK side “welcomed the Georgian government’s commitment to reforms” and pledged UK’s continuous support in this regard. The Georgian side “reaffirmed its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the same report reads. It also mentions an “increasing range of security and defense cooperation” between Georgia and the UK.
As part of the Wardrop Strategic Dialogue, the UK and Georgia signed agreements on readmission and air services. In addition to talks at the Foreign Office, Minister Ilia Darchiashvili met with the Chairman of the British All-Party Parliamentary Group on Georgia, MP Jonathan Djanogly, and Georgian students studying in the UK.
In 2014, the UK and Georgia launched a strategic dialogue format named after one of the first UK diplomats in Georgia, Sir Oliver Wardrop. The format covers a wide range of areas of cooperation, including foreign, security, and defense policy, as well as economy and trade. Since 2014, eight Wardrop Dialogue meetings were held.
- 10/09/2020 – Wardrop Dialogue: UK to Increase Support to Georgia
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