Georgian Foreign Minister Meets NATO, EU Officials in Brussels

Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalklaiani met with the EU and NATO officials in Brussels on July 13-14, making it his first foreign visit amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

At the NATO Headquarters on Tuesday, Georgia’s top diplomat met with the Deputy Secretary-General of the Alliance, Mircea Geoană “for an exchange of views on cooperation between NATO and Georgia and on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and reform efforts.”

The NATO Deputy Secretary-General thanked Georgia “for the continued commitment to Euro-Atlantic security and for Georgia’s contribution to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.”

Praising Georgia’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, he also noted that despite the challenges, “NATO and Georgia continue to broaden cooperation.”

According to the Deputy Secretary-General, NATO will continue to provide political and practical support to Georgia “as it continues to implement important reforms.”

Calling the meeting with Mircea Geoană “meaningful,” the Georgian Foreign Minister said NATO hails Georgia as “a close partner,” supports its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and values its contribution to the Black Sea security.

During his visit, Minister Zalkaliani also addressed the permanent representatives of NATO member states at the North Atlantic Council in the NATO-Georgia Commission.

The chief Georgian diplomat said following the commission meeting that Georgia “highly appreciates” that its partners “continue supporting” Georgia’s aspiration to NATO.

“Allies recognize the progress on reforms Georgia has made and condemn Russia’s occupation of, and continued pattern of illegal activities in, our regions,” the Georgian FM has tweeted.

In Brussels, the Georgian Foreign Minister had “an excellent meeting” with the European Union commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi as well.

Saying that the 27-member-bloc supports Georgia’s post COVID-19 economic recovery, Olivér Várhelyi said he “was impressed by country’s management of the crisis.” “I look forward to proposals to shape future of Eastern Partnership,” the EU Commissioner has tweeted.

Zalkaliani and Várhelyi discussed the situation in the Russia-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia and the illegal actions of the occupying forces on the ground during the coronavirus pandemic, including the recent shooting, wounding, and detention of a Georgian citizen near the Tskhinvali occupation line on July 11.

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