On November 6, the delegation of Special Representatives of the European Union and Member States for the Eastern Partnership began its visit to Georgia. The delegation already met with Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili for a working lunch. They also held a meeting with the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, and the Speaker of the Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili. The visit to the Russian occupation line is also planned, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes that the visit “of 20 EU member states carries a special importance and represents yet another clear example of political support from the European Union in such an important period for the country”. It should be noted that on November 8, the European Commission will publish a report on Georgia’s implementation of 12 priorities.
Meeting with the President of Georgia
President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili met with the Delegation of Special Representatives of the European Union and Member States for the Eastern Partnership at the Orbeliani Palace. The President opened the meeting by speaking about the killing of a Georgian citizen by the Russian occupying forces in Kirbali on November 6.
During the meeting the President noted that Russia’s actions do not change and emphasized the importance of Europe and the European future for Georgia in such a difficult situation. According to the press release of the President’s Administration, President Zurabishvili emphasized that Georgia cannot be denied its status because the Georgian people have to live in such a difficult situation every day.
Meeting with the Prime Minister
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with the Delegation of Special Representatives of the European Union and Member States for the Eastern Partnership at the Government Administration. The parties discussed Georgia’s integration with the EU and its progress on this path.
Garibashvili emphasized the importance of the Eastern Partnership, highlighting achievements such as the Association Agreement, visa-free travel, and strengthened cooperation in security, energy, and transport. He thanked the delegation for their support towards Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also noted that their visit at this important time is a clear sign of their support for Georgia’s EU integration.
Dirk Schuebel, the EU’s Special Representative for Eastern Partnership issues, noted that Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia could benefit from the Eastern Partnership in the future. He emphasized the importance of the visit by 17 EU member state representatives and 2 European institution representatives and highlighted Georgia’s cooperation in connectivity and security with the EaP, adding that this cooperation can become stronger.
Prime Minister Garibashvili discussed the progress made in implementing 12 recommendations and expressed hope that Georgia’s reform efforts would be acknowledged in the European Commission’s report, leading to candidate status recommendation.
Meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament
On November 7, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, met with the EU and EaP Special Representatives. During the meeting, Papuashvili emphasized the importance of the visit, as it takes place one day before the European Commission announces its decision, according to the press release of the Georgian Parliament.
Shalva Papuashvili discussed the Parliament’s efforts to implement the EU’s 12 recommendations, noting Georgia’s progress in the areas of rule of law and transparency. He also underlined the EU’s strategic support for Georgia’s path to EU membership.
Dirk Schuebel, the EU Special Representative for the Eastern Partnership, noted that he looks forward to the European Commission’s views and discussed the role of the Eastern Partnership in Georgia’s EU integration.
The meeting focused on the priorities of the Eastern Partnership, the involvement of Central Asia and various regional and political issues, the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia and the need for cross-country knowledge sharing, especially at the parliamentary level.
Meeting with the Foreign Minister
Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ilia Darchiashvili, met with the delegation of special representatives of the European Union and member states for Eastern Partnership, led by Dirk Schuebel, the EU’s Special Representative for EaP. The delegation also includes Gabriel Cremades, the special representative of Spain, currently holding the EU Presidency.
The meeting primarily addressed the Eastern Partnership format and its future development, with a focus on Georgia’s implementation of the European Commission’s 12 recommendations. Minister Darchiashvili highlighted legislative and institutional reforms and discussed geopolitical challenges, particularly the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, according to the press release of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia.
Discussions centered on the EU’s role in resolving the Russia-Georgia conflict through the EU Monitoring Mission, Geneva International Discussions co-chairing, and the policy of non-recognition and engagement. The Minister expressed hope for Georgia to be granted candidate status this year.
He emphasized the importance of EU member states’ support and their recognition of Georgia’s European perspective and integration progress. “The participants of the meeting emphasized the importance of continuing the European transformation and modernization process for the successful implementation of the ambitious agenda of Georgia’s rapprochement with the European Union,” – reads the release.
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