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Georgia’s President Salome Zurabishvili Officially Welcomed in Lithuania

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili was officially welcomed at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius on April 3. Zurabishvili arrived with a delegation that includes Aleksandre Elisashvili and Teona Akubardia, members of the Georgian Parliament, Natia Sulava, Head of the Administration of the President of Georgia, and Ketevan Tatoshvili, Advisor to the President of Georgia on Relations with International Organizations and Socio-Economic Issues.

Zurabishvili and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda had a vis-a-vis extended meeting and made a joint statement to the media. Nausėda reaffirmed Lithuania’s support for Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration, emphasizing that “European integration is the path of transformation of the country, with clear and tangible reforms that benefit citizens and their well-being.” The leaders discussed prospects for bilateral cooperation, including political dialogue, support for European integration, and institutional and sectoral cooperation.

They also discussed security challenges, hybrid threats, and disinformation, and condemned politically motivated cases, pressure on the media, and NGOs as harmful to democracy and citizen accountability.

Zurabishvili praised the 2022 decision to give Georgia a European perspective, saying, “Today, obtaining the status of a candidate country is our goal that has no alternative, and I say this as the President of Georgia that today, Georgian society is consolidated around the idea of EU integration”. She also stressed the importance of the NATO summit in Vilnius in July and called for progress in Georgia’s NATO integration to deter Russia from targeting the country: “No one should give Russia false hopes that isolated Georgia will become its new and easy target,” the president said.

During her visit, Zurabishvili paid tribute to Lithuanian heroes who fought for independence by laying a wreath at their memorial. She also laid flowers at the grave of Georgian officer Datiko Machavariani, who fought for Georgia’s statehood during the Russian occupation and achieved the rank of major in the Polish National Army in Vilnius.

Later, Salome Zurabishvili met with the Chair of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen to discuss the development of bilateral relations between Georgia and Lithuania, parliamentary relations, and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. They discussed the ongoing war in Ukraine and the situation in the region and expressed solidarity with Ukraine. The Georgian President also discussed the process of Georgia’s integration into the European Union and underlined the unwavering will of the Georgian people to join the EU. The difficult humanitarian situation in the occupied territories of Georgia was also discussed, and the importance of Lithuania’s role in strengthening and developing NATO-Georgia relations was emphasized.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili met with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė. The meeting focused on Georgia’s European integration process and Lithuania’s firm support for its sovereignty. They also discussed the ongoing war in Ukraine, Russian aggression, and the need for international support. The conversation touched on Georgia’s candidacy for EU membership, and the President stressed the importance of a decision based on merit. The President noted the unity of the Georgian people in their desire for a European future, which is a step towards depolarization. Finally, the leaders agreed on the importance of Georgia’s high-level representation at the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius.

Salome Zurabishvili and Lithuanian First Lady Diana Nausėdienė visited a Ukrainian center in Vilnius, that helps rehabilitate people displaced by the war. The Georgian President expressed solidarity with Ukraine, which she said was evident in the streets of Tbilisi. Zurabishvili presented gifts to Ukrainian children at the center, including traditional Georgian sweets and children’s books.

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


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