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President Zourabichvili: “Georgia Highly Values Its Partnership with France”

President Salome Zourabichvili visited the Commandant Birot, one of the National Patrol Ships of the French Navy. The Commandant Birot arrived in Batumi as part of French-Georgian cooperation in defense. 
The President toured the ship and addressed the invited guests at the reception ceremony,
“The arrival of the French ship is of utmost importance and it highlights the purpose of the Black Sea for our partner countries. NATO member state ships, including Turkish, Italian, Dutch, and American, are also entering in Batumi. Black Sea security is important for Georgia and for those countries on the Black Sea coast, but it should also be pointed out that this issue of global significant is a priority for NATO.
“Georgia and France have a close relation. My visit to France earlier this year was a clear sign of it. With the arrival of this French ship, our relationship will be further enhanced. Cooperation among the Ministries of Defense of France and Georgia is excellent and we hope that it will be further strengthened in the years ahead in all directions.
“The French steadily support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We highly value our partnership with France, especially at a time when we face many challenges in our occupied territories. Today, the whole nation is focused on the release of our doctor and to return him back home, and I should emphasize this here.
“I should underline that our cooperation with France is not limited to the political and military fields. We also have very important cultural relations. France is one of the core and natural partner for our citizens in culture. I will no longer mention our wine, that is one of our uniting component. I wish to extend and reinforce our relations this way,” said President Zourabichvili.
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