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President Zourabichvili: More Europe, More NATO, and More Poland in Georgia!

The Presidents of Georgia and Poland held a joint press-conference for Georgian and foreign media outlets and answered questions from the media.

President Salome Zourabichvili expressed her gratitude to the President of Poland for Poland’s steadfast support toward Georgia’s territorial integrity and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
“The friendship between the Polish and Georgian people dates back centuries. The Polish people arrived in Georgia as true friends and they built architecture, very interesting buildings, such as the Conservatory as well as the Court and other buildings. Today, in this difficult world, we know that Georgia can have the hope and confidence of a reliable friend in all directions. It is rarely possible to have true friends that are always ready to support you and stand with you. I think that Georgia does not have any other country alike.
“This is well-known by Georgian citizens and for this, a special thanks to Poland. We are aware that Poland stands with us not only in peace but also in war.
“Georgia will never forget your president’s arrival to Georgia in 2008. Mr. Kaczyński, and later yourself, always made supportive statements in favor of Georgia’s territorial integrity in all international formats and forums. It still continues.
“We have also discussed that supportive resolutions made as a part of cooperation within the UN and the Council of Europe on Georgia’s occupied territories should be more effective. Georgia has a partner and ally with Poland within the EU and NATO, an ally always ready to help pave its way. Today is May 7th and the Eastern Partnership, which was inaugurated by Poland and Sweden, celebrates its tenth anniversary.
“Now, we are at a stage when the format should be renewed and the partnership should get new forms. Georgia achieved a lot in this partnership. We managed to achieve a partnership that was followed by an Association, a free trade agreement with the EU, and a visa-free regime.
“We made a huge step forward thanks to this support and today we have ambitious goals to move even further. The EU Ambassador to Georgia said yesterday that Georgia had never been so close with the EU. This is absolutely true, but last steps still need to be taken. We remain committed to Poland’s support that you pledged, Mr. President.
“Georgia attaches significant importance of your support in different areas: deepening sectoral cooperation, enrolling in all formats and programs of the EU where Georgia could set its own place, cooperation in the economic dimensions of the ‘three seas format’, as well as the EuroMed initiative, be engaged in transport, educational and cultural programs where we have practically entered and through which have an ambition to gain full membership.
“As for NATO, it carries significant importance that the Embassy of Poland serves as the NATO Contact Embassy. The Ambassador is very active and the Embassy strongly stands with us. As everyone knows, Georgia is very close to NATO and all requirements for NATO membership have been fulfilled. And it should also be noted that NATO is moving toward Georgia as it has become an important partner to reinforce Black Sea security.
“Georgia, together with its partners, is ready to enhance Black Sea security to avoid confrontations and conflicts that could threaten the status of this bridge that should stand between Georgia and the European Union. Batumi will host an international conference that reaffirms the significance of the Black Sea and underlines the role of the European Union for the tenth anniversary of the Partnership.
“I have sent an invitation to the conference to the President in order to illustrate Poland’s support toward Georgia’s goals regarding EU and NATO membership. It is significantly important that we discussed the current situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. None of these, from the war to ongoing provocations and pressure could change Georgia’s main direction toward the EU and NATO, nor could they change Georgia’s economic growth. It is our victory and Russia’s defeat! We should move together with our reliable friends and supporters on this path of victory.
“We also discussed the issue of deepening relations within international organizations –on the Tatunashvili-Otkhzoria List or the UN Resolution on Humanitarian and IDP Issues. Reinforcing our cooperation in this respect should support the latter document to become even more effective.
“We have reciprocal issues and I hope that economic and cultural cooperation will be further enhanced. I am delighted that the offer to hold a Poland’s Year in Georgia and Georgia’s Year in Poland was positively accepted. It is a very important moment for us. Poland is a clear evidence to what extent a country should be developed together with its regions, not without them.
“We need to learn from this experience and more efficiently use it for the development of our own regions. Today, Poland is distinguished with its low rate of unemployment, but Georgia faces that problem. Starting to work with Poland to overcome irregular migration and increase professional qualification carries significant importance. Poland’s support in this respect is crucial.
Overall, let me conclude with these few words: More Europe, More NATO, and More Poland in Georgia!” said the President of Georgia.

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