Integration with EU, Situation in Occupied Territories Discussed in Meetings with Georgian Officials
Today in Tbilisi Foreign Minister Urmas Paet discussed the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories with Secretary of the Georgian National Security Council Giorgi Bokeria and confirmed that Estonia is a firm supporter of the non-recognition policy regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the resolution to Georgia’s conflicts must be based on international legal standards regarding states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. “A prerequisite for a peaceful resolution is the fulfilment of the cease-fire agreement and the continuation of the Geneva talks,” he added. Giorgi Bokeria said that the security situation in Georgia has clearly improved over the past six months. He also gave an overview of the implementation of the strategy for the occupied territories.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also met with Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze to discuss Georgia’s integration with the European Union and NATO as well as the promotion of bilateral relations. While talking about Georgia’s integration with the European Union, Foreign Minister Paet noted that Estonia supports the country’s efforts towards becoming an EU member and encourages Georgia to continue carrying out reforms. “The visa facilitation and readmission agreement between the EU and Georgia that came into effect this year works well,” said Paet. “It is essential to continue co-operating and for Georgia to continue making an effort to achieve a visa waiver and to start visa-related negotiations with the European Union,” Paet said.
According to Foreign Minister Paet, Estonia also supports the start of negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement between the European Union and Georgia this year. “Negotiations for the association agreement have gone well,” he added.
While addressing Estonia-Georgia bilateral relations, Paet noted that Estonia is prepared to help Georgia carry out reforms and strengthen civil society within the framework of development co-operation. “The Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership is focused on increasing the administrative capacity of the public sector in our Eastern Partners. Estonia is also prepared to help establish a school of diplomacy in Georgia. In the coming years we hope to share our experiences in the areas of state administrative capacity, education, economic development, and civil society,” said Foreign Minister Paet.
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