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Prime Minister Kobakhidze Visits Turkey

On May 16, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze arrived in Turkey for an official visit. He has held a meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, laid a wreath at the resting place of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and visited his Mausoleum together with the Georgian delegation. Following the meeting, the Georgian PM and the Turkish President held a joint press point.

Within the framework of the visit, the parties signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Cooperation, which, according to the Georgian government administration, “is poised to facilitate the strengthening and deepening of the partnership between Georgia and Turkey.”

“The memorandum will enable both sides to share knowledge and experience in such directions as renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure digitalization, carbon footprint reduction, etc.,” the Georgian government administration said.

Prime Minister Kobakhidze’s visit coincides with reports that Turkey is considering legislation similar to Georgia’s Foreign Agents Law, raising concerns about press freedom and civil society in Turkey.

One-on-one meeting

In one-on-one meeting, the parties emphasized the importance of the bilateral strategic partnership, and express commitment to further “deepening cooperation across a variety of areas,” the Georgian government administration reported, adding that “special attention was paid to the development of regional, trade and economic, and transport and energy cooperation, also to the transit function and the importance of connectivity.”

The same source said that the cooperation in the security, defense, and education fields were also discussed. The conversation also touched upon the situation in the Middle East and the South Caucasus. The leaders addressed those topics during the press conference as well.

Following the one-on-one meeting, negotiations continued in an extended-format, with the members of the governments of both countries participating.

Joint Press Briefing

During his address at the press conference, PM Kobakhidze stressed that Georgia has “very tight cooperation, strategic partnership” with Turkey, which is the number one trade partner of the country, and thanked the Turkish President, “a true leader of the republic” for hosting, inviting him for an official visit to Georgia.

The Georgian PM thanked the Turkish side for supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and delivered “special thanks” to the Turkish President for “his support for Georgia and its national interests.”

“We have said many times, and I would like to emphasize once again, that Georgia supports the formula of peaceful coexistence in the South Caucasus and always expresses its readiness to contribute to the process of promoting peace and constructive cooperation in the region,” the Georgian PM noted, welcoming the delimitation process between Armenia and Azerbaijan, “which gives the basis for the ultimate signing of a peace agreement between the two states.” He reiterated Georgia’s readiness to contribute to the regional stability and peace.

Speaking of the regional cooperation, the Georgian PM stressed that “the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey trilateral format is a very good example of how countries that respect each other’s sovereignty and national interests can cooperate effectively and successfully, and how very important projects for the region can be implemented within such cooperation.”

Georgian PM also addressed the situation in the Middle East, saying that “Georgia supports the idea of the need to establish peace in the Middle East, which can be achieved through negotiations, with the support of the international community.”

During his address, the Georgian PM also used the opportunity to condemn the attack on the Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico and wished him speedy recovery.

On his part, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his country’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and welfare, and pledged to continue to support Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration efforts.

The Turkish President also mentioned the ongoing developments in Georgia, saying that the Georgian PM shared his views and opinions on the situation and on behalf of his country, expressed hope “the developments may end in such a manner as to benefit the Georgian people.”

The Turkish President noted that the regional projects are the “one of the main pillars” of the bilateral relations. “We continue our work in order to ensure that the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which is the backbone of the Middle Corridor that revitalizes the Historical Silk Road through rails, becomes functional again with its full capacity,” he said.

President Erdoğan expressed readiness to support Georgia “in major infrastructure projects such as airports, ports and roads, as well as the production and transfer of renewable energy.”

The Georgian delegation includes First Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili, Vice Prime Minister/Defense Minister Irakli Chikovani, Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili, Minister of Education, Science and Youth Giorgi Amilakhvari, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Health, Labor and Social Affairs Mikheil Sarjveladze, Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara Tornike Rizhvadze, and Head of the Government Administration Levan Zhorzholiani.

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

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