Georgian, Latvian Presidents Meet in Riga

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, who is on an official visit to Riga on May 14-16, met today with her Latvian counterpart, President Raimonds Vējonis.

In a joint press statement following their meeting, President Zurabishvili said Latvia and Georgia are linked with “real and old friendship,” thanking President Vējonis for Latvia’s “full support” of Georgia’s EU and NATO membership aspirations.

The President said the processes unfolding in the EU “should not delay” Georgia’s integration process. “That should not slow down our progress… that is very strong determination of Georgia,” she said.

Zurabishvili spoke on the Russian occupation as well, saying Moscow continues “its policy of aggression and provocations on the occupying line.” “Russia continues to [go] against the reality, [thinking that] it can dissuade Georgia from joining EU and NATO with pressure and aggression,” she said, calling on Georgia’s partners “to convince and remind Russia that this will not happen.”

In his press remarks, the Latvian President said the two countries share “close friendship and active cooperation” in various fields. The President also underscored that Latvia has always been supportive of Georgia in the face of the Russian aggression. “We have always supported and will support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia in various international organizations,” he said.

President Vējonis added that Latvia remains committed to Georgia’s NATO and EU membership aspirations, and will continue supporting the country’s efforts to that end. “Latvia has always supported and will continue to support the efforts by Georgia to achieve the goals set, and I am convinced that it will definitely happen,” he noted.

The President stressed, however that in spite of implementing “various reforms successfully,” Georgia needs to continue its reform efforts “because reforms are not just a requirement to continue negotiating on accession to an international organization, reforms are for every society because they are aimed at improving the situation in every area of life.”

As part of her visit to Latvia, President Zurabishvili also met with Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš. From Riga, Zurabishvili will travel to Tallinn, where she is scheduled to meet President Kersti Kaljulaid, and other Estonian officials.

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