Support from our friends and partners is extremely important because only by joint efforts can we foster peace and security, says Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
Kvirikashvili spoke at the 11th annual Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi.
The two-day conference that opened today brought together about 300 decision-makers and experts from the field of security from not only the region but Western Europe and America.
PM Kvirikashvili elaborated on the global challenges of today’s world and the ways Georgia is trying to handle them.
He named the Russian occupation of Georgian regions as the number one security challenge facing Georgia today. Kvirikashvili described that the occupation meant violated human rights in these regions, ethnic cleansing of Georgians and increasing militarisation of the area by Russian troops.
Despite of these "provocative acts”, Georgia remains committed to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, Kvirikashvili said. He stressed that the Georgian Government makes sure all the benefits Georgia achieves through its reforms and European integration are open to the people residing in occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia) too.
"We believe that handling these joint challenges is only possible by being faithful to the values and principles that serve to ensure security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic space and elsewhere”, Kvirikashvili said.
He added that for this purpose, Georgia is implementing a number of domestic reforms that helps Georgia meet the requirements envisaged in its Association Agreement with the EU.
Kvirikashvili talked about recent international rankings that placed Georgia in leading positions be it in the field of economy, business or media environment.
"This hall is full of friends of Georgia and I want each of our friend to feel themselves part of these successes”, Kvirikashvili said.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili also addressed the conference and called on the international community to develop a united strategy to counter Russia’s provocative policy towards its neighbours.
"Let’s create a joint strategy against Russia’s policy towards its neighbours. Dividing the world into the spheres of privileged interests poses a threat to not only Russia’s neighbours but globally”, Margvelashvili said.
GDSC brings together decision-makers, thought leaders, and civil society representatives to exchange views about the greatest challenges facing the international order today.
Some of the topics to be discussed during these two days in Batumi will include:
- NATO after the Warsaw Summit: Deterrence through Resilience and Implications for Partners
- 'Total Defence: Some Nations' Way to Guarantee their Security (Hosted by the Royal United Services Institute – RUSI)
- Modern Warfare: What’s New?
- The Future of the European Security: Competing Concepts and Existing Mechanisms
- NATO and the Black Sea Security: Strategy in Action – Opportunities and Challenges
The conference will wrap up tomorrow with summarising speeches by Georgian Defence Minister Levan Izoria and RUSI Associate Director Jonathan Eyal.