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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Estonia Expects Rapid Developments Next Year in Georgia's Relations with European Union and NATO


No 440-E

At his meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze within the framework of the meeting of the OSCE foreign ministers in Dublin, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia is expecting clear progress to be made next year in relations between Georgia and the European Union and NATO.

Foreign Minister Paet said that the free elections and proper transfer of power in Georgia have given Georgia a positive push towards membership in NATO and the EU.  “Estonia and the European Union both wish to continue their joint efforts to bring Georgia closer to the European Union. In order for this to happen, Georgia must continue with its reforms. We support finishing up negotiations for an Association Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Georgia as soon as possible,” he added.

Paet expressed satisfaction over the fact that Georgia has taken advantage of the opportunities offered by the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership in the reform process.

Foreign Minister Paet said that Estonia is a supporter of Georgia's endeavours towards NATO. He added that NATO highly values Georgia's contribution in backing international security, for example through participation in the Afghanistan mission.

Paet and Panjikidze also spoke about Estonia and Georgia's bilateral relations. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet invited his Georgian colleague Maia Panjikidze to visit Estonia at the beginning of next year. Estonia and Georgia also plan to hold consultations between their foreign ministries in Tallinn at the beginning of the new year.

Estonia would also like to strengthen its treaty base with Georgia. “In November the implementation protocol for the readmission agreement came into effect, which is essential for advancing immigration-related co-operation. We would also like to conclude a social security agreement with Georgia,” added Foreign Minister Paet.

Estonia and Georgia both want to continue building tourism relations, which offer good opportunities to introduce their cultures. “For example, it will be possible to experience some Georgian culture within the framework of the Saaremaa Opera Days in Estonia next summer,” Paet stated.

Photo from the meeting:

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