Georgia a key transit country in Eurasia, says President

President Margvelashvili made his opinion heard when he spoke at the UN conference on Landlocked Developing Countries in Vienna, Austria., 04 Nov 2014 - 12:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is the main transit country connecting central Asian resources to the European market and vice versa and Russian occupation poses a danger to this, says President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

The Georgian President made his opinion heard when he spoke alongside the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, the President of Montenegro, the Swedish International Development Minister and the UN Development Program Administrator at a round table within the UN conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) being held in Vienna, Austria.

Margvelashvili said although Georgia was a coastal country, it was very tightly connected to landlocked states in the region.

"We [Georgian representatives] are here as the most important transit state for such countries,” President Margvelashvili said.

He stressed eight of 14 developing states on the Eurasia continent – Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan – used Georgia’s transit function to have access to the sea.

"With seven of these eight countries we have a free trade regime,” Margvelashvili said.

"Since we regained our independence, our strategic direction was to connect central Asian resources with the European market and vice versa. Our country is open to transit both energy resources and other trade products.”

In this context, the Georgian President highlighted the danger that threatened these countries because of Russian occupation. Margvelashvili said peace and stability were crucial for the region to develop and reach its goals.

While talking about the threats to Black Sea basin countries, Margvelashvili stressed Russia’s annexation of Crimea as well as Russia’s attempt to annex Georgia’s occupied regions. He called on the international community to be actively involved in the peace-building process in the region.

Earlier, President Margvelashvili met President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic. The sides discussed bilateral relations and Montenegro reaffirmed its full support towards Georgia’s territorial integrity.

From left to right: President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon; Photo by President's press office

The Georgian President invited Vujanovic to Georgia, to which the Montenegro leader accepted. He said he would soon begin to prepare for the visit and suggested to hold a Georgia-Montenegro business forum during his trip.

Meanwhile, President Margvelashvili also met UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Director General Jose Graziano da Silva. The parties talked about the importance of the UN’s support toward Georgian as well as the necessity for Georgia to make its agricultural products meet European standards after it signed the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) deal with the European Union earlier this year.