Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili has addressed the nation and congratulated the country on today’s signing of the Association Agreement (AA) with European Union (EU).
The Georgian President said today was "a historical day” for Georgia and this was one step forward on its way to closer integration with Europe.
"This agreement is milestone in the history of our relations with Europe”, Margvelashvili said.
Georgia is the first country in the South Caucasus region which has signed such a high ranked document with the EU.
Margvelashvili said the country had aspired to reintegrate itself with Europe for many years.
By signing the AA, Georgia will become part of a big security and European crisis response system, the President said while speaking about the benefits of the AA. He also highlighted positive steps that will be made as a result of this agreement to develop Georgia’s transport sector, infrastructure, tourism, energy and ecology industries.
The AA will bring Georgian people wellbeing, more stable and democratic institutions and will create a more responsible and need-oriented Government, he said.
President Margvelashvili also highlighted importance of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement, which was part of the AA.
After signing this agreement we will join the European market, which is the largest in the world. [It] unites 500 million payment capable citizens and its GDP reaches 13 trillion Euro. This is a very interesting market for any businessperson and naturally, Georgian business will be also given a new impetus, while Georgian products will reach European standards and naturally, it will be a subject of interest for Europe and the rest of the world’s markets, he said.
Easing visa procedures with the EU have been already simplified for Georgia, but following the enforcement of this agreement, Margelashvili believed Georgia would have visa free travel relations with the EU from 2016.
In his official address, Margvelashvili said Georgia’s two breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia will also benefit from the AA.
We’ll offer the benefits of the Association Agreement to our Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers; we’ll offer them Georgia, which will be exactly part of Europe. We shall build a European Georgia. In this country the rights of the representatives of any ethnic, political, social group will be protected, he said.
Today we have signed the Association Agreement with the European Union. In its turn, this agreement will bring great advantage to the citizens of our country, to our state.