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Supporting Georgia’s Territorial Integrity is Fundamentally Important

11.11.2010

No. 346-E

During his meeting today with Georgian Foreign Ministry Gregory Vashadze, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that Estonia supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Both European Union and NATO member states must clearly observe Georgia’s territorial integrity and give practical weight to the non-recognition policy of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on a daily basis,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.

“The strong and visible presence of the European Union in Georgia is also necessary,” stated Paet. “Therefore the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia is currently irreplaceable for preventing new conflicts; the mission should also have access to the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” he added.

In talking about Georgia’s integration with NATO and the European Union, Foreign Minister Paet noted that it is important for Georgia to continue its domestic and economic reforms. “Developing economic relations between the EU and Georgia is a part of the broader integration with the Union. Beginning negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement is also a step towards EU integration. We have offered Georgia help in preparing for negotiations and implementing reforms,” stated Foreign Minister Paet. “We also support visa facilitation coming into effect for citizens of Georgia travelling to the European Union,” he added.

Paet confirmed to Vashadze that Georgia will remain one of Estonia’s development co-operation priority countries in Estonia’s new development co-operation action plan for 2011-2015. “We would like to focus our aid activities on specific sectors even more than before, taking into consideration Georgia’s wishes and needs,” Paet said, proposing to his colleague to hold bilateral development co-operation related consultations at the beginning of 2011.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also recommended that Georgia use the opportunities offered within the framework of European Union Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership to their fullest extent. “For example, young Georgian diplomats are welcome at the Eastern Partnership training centre being established in Tallinn,” he added.

While discussing bilateral relations, Paet and Vashadze agreed that in order to intensify Estonia-Georgia economic relations, the legal base must be further developed. “We are interested in an agreement for the protection of investments and a social security agreement coming into force as soon as possible,” Paet asserted.

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