Speaker Papuashvili Visits UK

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili is visiting on February 8-11 the United Kingdom, where he met on February 9 among others Speakers of the House of Lords and Commons, John McFall and Lindsay Hoyle, respectively.

At the Georgian official’s meeting with the Lord Speaker John McFall, the sides talked about cooperation between the two countries and highlighted the importance of strengthening parliamentary ties, according to the Georgian Parliament’s press release.

Also on February 9, Speakers Papuashvili and Hoyle discussed UK-Georgia cooperation, including in defense, as well as the security landscape in Georgia and the Black Sea Region.

Speaker Papuashvili said after the meeting they had also talked about the situation in Ukraine and the Parliament’s resolution in “steadfast support” of Kyiv.

Speaker Hoyle, on his part, highlighted it was important to exchange views on the existing threats – “topics that actually unite us,” and how Georgia and the UK could help each other “through good relations” amid the developments.

Meeting with the Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons Tom Tugendhat, Speaker Papuashvili touched upon Georgia’s foreign policy priorities and its path of the Euro-Atlantic integration. He also stressed the need for a political decision on Georgia’s membership in NATO.

The Georgian official also expressed his hope amid Russia’s actions against Tbilisi and the wider region, the UK will continue to consolidate international support on matters related to Georgia.

Also on February 9, the Georgian Speaker discussed with Chair of the House of Commons Defense Committee, Tobias Ellwood, and other members the UK’s involvement in developing Georgia’s capacities and national strategy in cybersecurity.

Speaker Papuashvili also met Jonathan Djanogly, Chair of the All-Party Group on Georgia in the UK parliament.

Later in the day, the Georgian official sat down with David Quarrey, foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, discussing the existing situation concerning Ukraine. “We informed him of our view about the risks the situation surrounding Ukraine bears for Georgia and how it can affect the security of our country,” Speaker Papuashvili noted.

He also held a meeting at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank.

Georgian Speaker is also set to meet with Chris Heaton-Harris, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, Richard Burge, Head of the London Chamber of Commerce, and Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

Speaker Papuashvili, on his first trip to London in his capacity, is accompanied by Chair and Vice-Chair of Foreign Relations Committee Nikoloz Samkharadze and Giorgi Khelashvili, respectively, as well as the Chair of Agrarian Issues Committee Nino Tsilosani, MP Teona Akubardia of opposition Strategy Aghmashenebeli.

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