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Mikser: Hard work taking Georgia's EU integration forward

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser met with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other Georgial leaders on Monday. April 24, 2017.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser met with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other Georgial leaders on Monday. April 24, 2017. Source: (Estonian Minitry of Foreign Affairs/Flickr)

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) visited Georgia on Monday, where he met with Georgian leaders and acknowledged the country's determination to carry out reforms as partof the EU integration process.

Mikser, who met with President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikahvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze and Chairman of the Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze, also congratulated Georgia on visa liberalization with the EU and reaffirmed strong support for the Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia, according to a ministry press release.

According to Mikser, the determined and strong homework to achieve visa liberalization has taken Georgia's EU integration substantially forward. "The entry into force of the visa liberalization with the EU is a significant step that will improve tourism and contacts between people as well as strengthen business ties," he said, reaffirming Estonia's ongoing support. "The implementation of the Association Agreement and reforms must continue. Our cooperation with Georgia is aimed at this."

The Estonian minister said that Georgia's success is an example for other Eastern Partnership countries, adding tht the partnership is one of the priorities of the upcoming Estonian presidency of the EU council. The Eastern Partnership Summit is scheduled to take place in Brussels during the Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU.

"We are working to achieve ambitious outcomes that would motivate all Eastern Partnership members to further develop their countries," Mikser explained. "The summit must send a clear mesage of EU commitment and demonstrate to the citizens of eastern partners how cooperation leads to concrete benefits. It is necessary to maintain the governments' motivation to cary out reforms."

Also dicussed at Monday's meetings were security and Georgia's strive toward NATO. "Georgia is already a partner of NATO who contribute significantly to the security of the alliance," Mikser noted. "I am glad that the Warsaw Summit sent a clear signal that NATO would like to strengthen cooperation with Georgia. Estonia is ready to support Georgia in this in every way."

According to the Estonian foreign minister, Georgia is one of Estonia's most important development cooperation partner countries. "We will continue to support Georgia's EU integration, particularly via training and aid in implementing reforms," he said. "In the last two years, 50 projects have been carried out in Georgia in the framework of development cooperation. We are focusing primarily on sharing our experiences in reforming education, supporting entrepreneurship, strengthening democratic institutions and developing e-governance."

This year, Estonia will again be contributing almot €1 million to various projects.

Mikser noted that the cooperation between Estonia and Georgia, who will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomtic relations this year, is successful and constructive in every field.

Other subjects discussed at Miksers' Monday meetings included relations with reighboring countries, regional security as well as recent developments in Georgia.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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