Remarks by President Donald Tusk after his meeting with President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Raad i, gepubliceerd op donderdag 8 maart 2018.

I am very happy to welcome again President Margvelashvili to Brussels. You know how I value your visits here and our talks and cooperation. It's not only a pleasure; first of all I really appreciate how effective, how efficient your country is, and you are as a President.

EU-Georgia relations are strong and we enjoy an excellent partnership. The accomplishment of the visa-free regime and the increase in bilateral trade are some of the most visible examples of our good and expanding cooperation over the past year.

The implementation of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area is bringing tangible results to the citizens of Georgia, contributing to political and economic stability. The European Union will continue to support Georgia's reforms.

With regard to the visa-free regime, I welcome the commitment of the Georgian authorities to continue working with EU Member States to make sure that it functions properly.

Georgia is a frontrunner in the Eastern Partnership and the EU very much appreciated Georgia's constructive and active support to making last year's Summit a success. In this context, we also discussed the future of EU-Georgia relations, including the Georgian government's pragmatic proposals for advancing integration and cooperation with the European Union. We will work to make these ideas more concrete in the coming months.

During our meeting I reassured the President that the EU remains fully committed to the conflict resolution efforts and support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. We are concerned about attempts at a creeping annexation of the two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The recent tragic death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili and the detention of two others in South Ossetia, was a sad reminder of the costs entailed by conflict. Thank you.

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