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Estonia supports granting Georgia a NATO Membership Action Plan

30.04.2014

At the meeting today in Tallinn between Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Paet confirmed Estonia's support for Georgia in integrating with the European Union and for granting Georgia a NATO membership action plan, both of which are very important for the country's development and security.

Paet emphasized that Estonia supports granting Georgia the NATO Membership Action Plan. "Georgia's willingness and ability to carry out reforms and to contribute to global security are significant. The state's cooperation with NATO has become increasingly close and their attitude towards regional and global security demonstrates how a relatively small country is able to help support the international community," he said. Georgia has participated in the NATO-led ISAF operation in Afghanistan since 2004 and Georgia is the largest contributor to the mission outside of the Alliance's member states. "Georgia is the only country outside of NATO and the European Union with which Estonia has close bilateral defence cooperation and we want this to continue," he added.

Paet said that Georgia's integration into the European Union has been very successful and the state has been an active participant in EU cooperation as part of the Eastern Partnership. "The approach of the European Union and its Eastern partners is very important in the current situation in order to help alleviate the security crisis and to add a sense of confidence to all of Europe," he said. "We hope that the European Union's Association and Free Trade Agreement will be concluded with Georgia in the coming months. We also hope to continue to progress in the area of visa liberalisation," Paet said, adding that Estonia is ready to continue to share its experience and to help through sectorial experts.

Paet stated that Estonia also considers the continuation and strengthening of the activities of the EU monitoring mission EUMM in Georgia to be very important since it is an important security guarantee. "We condemn the establishment of illegal borders and the accompanying  restrictions on freedom of movement and economic and social rights are unacceptable," he added.

Paet and Margvelashvili also spoke about energy security issues. "We highly appreciate the role of Georgia in strengthening energy security and we also consider the promotion of Central Asian and European Union gas supplies and transit trade to be important," Foreign Minister Paet said.

Ways of promoting economic relations between Estonia and Georgia were also discussed at the meeting.
The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili is in Estonia participating in the high-level Freedom Online Coalition conference "Free and Secure Internet for All" in Tallinn on April 28 and 29. For more information on the conference: www.freedomonline.ee.

Photos: www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry


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