Georgian President Meets France’s Holland in Paris

PARIS – Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili met with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Thursday during as part of his official visit to France.

“I met with the (French) president. He strongly supports the interests of Georgia,” Margvelashvili said after meeting with Holland at the Elysee Palace, Paris’ presidential residence.

Margvelashvili said the meeting left him feeling optimistic about the future of bilateral relations between France and Georgia.

The parties discuss Georgia’s integration into Europe as well as its efforts to join Euro-Atlantic structures, including the NATO military alliance.

“We have excellent cooperation when it comes to security and economic issues. France is providing very serious assistance to Georgia when it comes to implementing the Association Agreement and the deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU,” Georgia’s Foreign Relations Secretary Tengiz Pkhaladze said.

Margvelashvili on Friday also will meet with the President of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher.

As part of his French trip, Margvelashvili has met with Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the Paris-based UN cultural heritage and education body known as UNESCO.

The president’s office said that Margvelashvili raised the issue of the violation of education rights for residents living in Georgia’s Gali district in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Bokova and Margvelashvili discussed the current status of Georgia’s UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites in Mtskheta, the Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, all three of which are listed by UNESCO as being in danger.

According to Margvelashvili, the current Georgian government has made a significant effort to guarantee the sites’ conservation and management.

Margvelashvili will wrap-up his visit to France on April 23.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

Photo: President's press office

21 April 2016 22:27