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Address of the President of Georgia Eastern Partnership Summit

Vilnius, Lithuania

29 November 2013

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning.

We are gathered here today in this beautiful city to take an irreversible step towards political association and economic integration with the European Union.

In the past two years, Georgia has consolidated its democratic transition with a peaceful transfer of power in two free and fair national elections.

We have departed from the post-Soviet paradigm and are gradually assuming our rightful place in the European community of nations.

Through the Eastern Partnership, the EU has, over the last four years, extended much-appreciated support and cooperation to Georgia.

On this historic day, we will initial our Association Agreement, including an agreement on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between Georgia and the EU.

The Association Agreement is a master plan for transforming Georgia into a modern, genuinely European state.  

For Georgia, Association with the EU is a choice based on shared values.

Association is the key to peaceful reconciliation with our compatriots in occupied Abkhazia and Tskinvali Region and the reunification of our country, because it is by ATTRACTION that we will draw these regions back into the Georgian state.

Recent developments show that the European path is challenging for countries in our region. This is why the EU’s support and assistance are crucial so that we can sign the Association Agreement and attached DCFTA in 2014

The EU takes a “more-for-more” approach to supporting its partners.

Accordingly, Georgia pledges to advance its reforms rapidly in order to timely consolidate its political Association and economic integration with the EU.

We aim for Georgia to be a leader in both reform and integration.

[In order to support our intensive efforts, we propose to convene a Donors’ Conference in 2014 in Brussels, inviting participants, including international financial institutions and the various national development banks, to support Georgia’s work towards realizing political Association and free trade-related reforms.

Holding the Donors’ Conference in Brussels would underline the EU’s support for Georgia’s reform agenda.]

I note that we also welcome the EU’s dialogue with Russia, explaining that the Eastern Partnership is not a policy directed against Russia but a win-win-solution that will increase economic prosperity, security and stability in our region, and will also benefit Russia.

We look forward to continued support from the EU:

·        to mitigate the threat posed the Russian military’s recent activities along the occupation line with the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions;

and

·        to respond in a coordinated way to any substantial pressure exerted by Russia in an attempt to divert us from our goal of signing the Association Agreement and DCFTA in 2014.

In closing, let me congratulate all of us on signing the Vilnius Joint Declaration, and wish us success in implementing the post-Summit goals.

Thank you for your attention.

 

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