Georgia can be a "window to a future” shaped by its citizens along with the country’s partners in the United States and Europe, says Prime Minister Kvirikashvili’s foreign adviser Tedo Japaridze in his article for the European Leadership Network (ELN).
Appointed as Foreign Policy Adviser to Georgia’s PM last December, Japaridze published his opinion piece on the website of the network that aims to "advance the idea of a cooperative and cohesive Europe”.
In the article Japaridze, a former Georgian ambassador to the US, places Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations into historical context, reviewing the prospects of the country’s relations with the new American administration.
Georgia’s foreign minister from 2003-2004, Japaridze details how the institutional and economic model for Georgia over the last 25 years was inspired by US vision, but also stresses that the country views itself not only through membership in specific institutions.
We claim to be part of a greater European order, which goes beyond EU and NATO membership to encompass the sphere of shared norms, values, and political culture.
Since our independence, like most states in Eastern Europe, we do not regard ourselves as being "in-between” great powers, but as members of a "whole and free” community of nations,” the article reads.
The PM’s foreign adviser also notes Georgia’s contribution to the ongoing international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan as an example of its commitment to partnership with NATO.
As partners, we carry our weight, spending more than 2% of the GDP on defense for several years and contributing to joint missions like no other partner. For instance, our per capita contribution in Afghanistan is second only to the United States,” Japaridze points out.
The Georgian official’s opinion piece also points to the "impeccable elections” held by Georgia at various levels over the recent years to strengthen its claim of "Eastern European identity”, while also noting the extent of media freedom in the country in the context of regional issues on the subject.
Japaridze concludes the article by looking to Georgia’s prospects as a "bridge between” markets and a country that can take advantage of its strategic geopolitical location while avoiding to be defined by its proximity from Russia and its sphere of influence.
Read the full article here: www.europeanleadershipnetwork.org