Usupashvili calls on international community to remember Georgia’s occupation

David Usupashvili delivered a speech at the Hague Global Law Institute yesterday., 19 Nov 2014 - 12:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Events in Ukraine and Georgia should not be isolated, Georgian Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili noted in his speech at the Hague Global Justice Institute yesterday.

Usupashvili, who is on an official visit to the Netherlands, delivered a speech to politicians, experts, diplomats and academic circles.

The Georgian official called on the international community to remember the occupation in Georgia and the proposed draft agreement on ‘Alliance and Integration’ between Russia and breakaway Abkhazia.

"My main message to our friends is not to forget Georgia. True, Ukraine is under particular attention but Georgia shall be considered in the same angle, the events in Georgia and Ukraine are not isolated,” he said.

Usupashvili also noted he held many important meetings during his official visit and evaluated these as "prompt and productive”.

"The Netherlands is a supporter of Georgia and helps us to overcome many challenges. We met with friends who are committed to continue supportive policy to democratisation, EU integration and security of Georgia. Two years ago people who were lesser known to the West came into power and the West had questions, though the past two years appeared enough to dissolve doubts. Georgian people have no alternative to European values. We aspire to find the shortest way to Europe,” he said.

The Georgian Parliament Speaker also talked about the recent events in Georgia and noted that Free Democrats leaving the parliamentary majority was a loss although new people had been selected to fill the gaps.

In addition, he spoke about the Kremlin-proposed agreement with breakaway Abkhazia, which indicated an attempt by Russia to annex Abkhazia.

"The Georgian Parliament strives with resolutions and statements to warn the international community about the threats,” Usupashvili noted.

Afterwards, Usupashvili spoke about the situation in the South Caucasus and Georgia’s relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"Different political choices of Georgia and Armenia will not change our relations. We promised our Armenian friends that Georgia will never make an Association Agreement [with the EU] if the economic or other interests of Armenia would be damaged. We naturally expect the same from them. We also cooperate with Azerbaijan and Turkey on various issues including railway and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline projects,” he said.

Usupashvili also spoke about the corridor that now existed between breakaway Tskhinvali occupation line and Russian military base in Armenia. He stressed that in the case of occupation of the corridor, Russia would create grave problems for the region.

Usupashvili’s two-day visit to the Netherlands finished today after the Georgian official held meetings with the Speaker of Chamber of Representatives and the President of the Senate, as well as with the Political Director of Foreign Ministry. He also attended the Clingendale Round Table.

Furthermore, while abroad Usupashvili met with the OSCE High Commissioner Astrid Thors and introduced the recent action Georgia had made in the field of human rights and the country’s future plans.

"As you know the OSCE High Commissioner is a very important figure. Under the conditions when the OSCE Mission closed in Georgia due to Russia’s position, we have special contacts with all people concerned acting under the OSCE aegis,” Usupashvili noted after the meeting.

"We discussed Georgia’s progress in protection of minorities’ rights reflected in legislative acts, but we know that there’s still much to do to make all Georgian citizens feel protected. The office of the Commissioner is a great support to us and we continue working in this direction,” he said.