Foreign Ministers Open German-Georgian Year

On 26 April, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze met his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. At their meeting, the two Ministers spoke on bilateral relations and the recent introduction of visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Georgian citizens.

“We live in a time when Europe is more valued from the outside than from the inside. Therefore, we support Georgia’s rapprochement with the European Union and appreciate Georgia’s tremendous reform efforts on this path,” German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs was quoted as saying at his joint press briefing with Mikheil Janelidze. 

Gabriel congratulated Janelidze on reaching the visa-free travel to the European Union for Georgian citizens and expressed his gratitude to Georgia for participation in international peacekeeping missions. 

“Many in Germany do not know that the Georgian soldiers were the first to assist German citizens during the terrorist assault against the German consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif. We in Germany often forget that we also need assistance in difficult times and I am happy that this assistance came from Georgia,” Sigmar Gabriel said according to the Georgian MFA.

Following the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers addressed the opening ceremony of the German-Georgian Year at the Federal Foreign Office. 

The German-Georgian Year will mark the 200th anniversary of the emigration of Swabian Pietists to Georgia and the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries, and will be held under the patronage of the two Foreign Ministers. Over 130 joint events and projects are planned in both countries throughout the coming 18 months. 

“The excellent German-Georgian relations are simply timeless!” Foreign Minister Gabriel said at the opening ceremony. “This is a testament to the richness and diversity of our relations. We are “inheriting” an extremely vibrant Georgian-German future!”

As part of his official visit to Germany Foreign Minister Janelidze also met Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Norbert Röttgen.