Munich Security Conference an Opportunity for Georgia

The Georgian Prime Minister participated in the 52nd Munich Security Conference held last week. In a thematic panel discussion, ‘Future Path to European Integration,’ PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili delivered a speech underscoring Georgia’s European identity in terms of history and culture.

The PM stated that Georgia is in the process of building its European future and the government is doing its best to secure the country’s western path. “We are gradually fulfilling requirements of the Association Agreement agenda and we are ambitious about transforming post-Soviet institutions into European ones, approximation of Georgia’s political standards with those of Europe, free trade with Europe and visa free travel that we strive to and hope to obtain soon.”

During his official visit, PM Kvirikashvili held a bilateral meeting with EU Chief Diplomat, Federica Mogherini. He emphasized that the EU is Georgia’s strategic partner and the country is implementing democratic reforms with its support. The conversation touched upon ways of implementating DCFTA and economic and trade cooperation between the EU and Georgia.

The Georgian PM also met with the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. The parties discussed trade and economic relations between the two countries and emphasized the need for setting up an Intergovernmental Economic Commission, which will be entrusted with discussions concerning trade and economic related issues. The discussion also covered the ‘New Silk Road,’ underlining that the project is of crucial importance for the participating countries.

At meetings with the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and the President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, the Georgian leader discussed bilateral cooperation between the states and prospects of deepening partnership.

Issues of political and economic partnership, Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic agenda, as well as topics of international security, were the central topics of a meeting with the President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev.

One of the important side meetings during the Munich Security Forum was held between the Georgian Prime Minister and the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite. The Lithuanian president has been outstanding among the other European leaders in support of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic path.

Potential cooperation in the economic area, as well as energy security-related issues, were the main discussion topics at the discussion with the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg. The Norwegian Government within the frames of Development Cooperation has financed several projects in Georgia.

Following his visit to Germany, PM Kvirikashvili told Georgian media that he utilized the opportunity to present the country’s agenda to the world leaders.

“The Munich Conference is a platform where leaders of countries meet and discuss the security situation and this is an opportunity to present the country’s agenda and our goals,” the PM noted.

He confirmed that his delegation felt great support from everyone [they] met. The Prime Minister emphasized that the government needs the consolidation of the Georgian population around the European and Euro-Atlantic agenda.

Since its foundation in 1963, the Munich Security Conference has become the major global forum for the discussion of security policy. Each February it brings together more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the world, including heads-of-state, ministers, leading personalities of international and non-governmental organizations, as well as high ranking representatives of industry, media, academia, and civil society, to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.

Zviad Adzinbaia

18 February 2016 21:10