At his meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Gregory Vashadze in Tbilisi, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that Estonia supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Paet and Vashadze discussed the situation in Georgia and the future of the nation as well as its co-operation with NATO, the European Union, and Estonia.
Foreign Minister Paet said that it is essential for the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia to continue, since the security situation in the conflict zone has not improved. “The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia is the only security mechanism functioning in the conflict zone near the occupied areas after the departure of other international organisations’ missions,” stated Foreign Minister Paet. Paet also said that a humane solution must be found to support the internally displaced persons.
Paet and Vashadze discussed Georgia’s reforms to become closer to NATO and the European Union. Foreign Minister Paet emphasised Estonia’s support for Georgia’s integration with the European Union and NATO.
Foreign Minister Paet stated that the negotiations between the European Union and Georgia to conclude an Associations Agreement that includes a comprehensive free trade agreement are an important step in the development of relations. “The development of European Union-Georgia trade and economic relations is part of the broader integration with the union and also contains a security policy dimension,” said Paet. Estonia has offered to help Georgia prepare for negotiations and implement its reforms.
Estonia also supports more rapid progress in bringing visa facilitation into effect for Georgian citizens travelling to the EU.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that Georgia will remain Estonia’s development co-operation priority partner in the future. “Estonia’s aid thus far has focused first and foremost on increasing the capability of the Georgian state, for example in the interior security sector, the education sector, and in supporting economic development,” Paet stated.
The foreign ministers spoke about Estonia-Georgia co-operation within the context of European Union Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership as well. Paet said that it would be useful for Georgia to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by Eastern Partnership to grow closer to the European Union. “We will create an Eastern Partnership training centre, and young diplomats from Georgia are welcome to participate,” he added.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia and Georgia have good co-operation with the OSCE, Council of Europe, and UN. Estonia feels it is important to continue discussing the issue of Georgia in international organisations until the conflict has been resolved.
Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also has meetings scheduled with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and Prime Minister Nika Gilauri.
Today Paet spoke before the leaders of Georgia’s foreign representations about matters related to the European Union, NATO-Georgia relations, Estonia’s experiences in these organisations, and bilateral relations.
Paet: Estonia Supports Territorial Integrity of Georgia