World leaders hear Georgia’s voice at Nuclear Security Summit

The meeting has revealed that until the end of this year the Georgian-French Decelopment Agency (AFD) would be set up., 25 Mar 2014 - 00:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Nuclear Security Summit opened yesterday in The Hague and the Georgian delegation, led by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, got off to a busy start with many fruitful meetings with world leaders.

The day ended on a high when Garibashvili was presented to the US President Barack Obama by the Dutch Prime Minister, which he met in person yesterday. PM Mark Rutte was about to tell President Obama that Garibashvili was the Prime Minister of Georgia when Obama interrupted adding he had already met him. "He is our Georgian guy,” Obama said as he shook Garibashvili’ hand.

Garibashvili later told journtalists President Obama pointed out the pair engaged in a very productive meeting when the Georgian leader embarked on an official visit to the US in February.

Meeting Garibashvili at the Summit vindicated President Obama’s earlier hopes he expressed in his letter sent to the Georgian Prime Minister after they met in the US. At the time President Obama wrote he hoped to see the Georgian PM at the Summit.

Speaking with Georgian journalists today, Garibashvili did not excluded there could be another meeting with the US President as well.

Prime Minister Garibashvili also met with French President Francois Hollande, where the leaders discussed bilateral cooperation, which was noted to be "quite active and close”.

Particular attention was paid to the role of France in Georgia’s European integration processes and President Hollande said he wished the French side would engage more actively in the direction of Georgia’s deepening cooperation with the European Union.

Both sides expressed their desire to further deepen their economic cooperation and it was noted, the office of the Georgian-French Development Agency (AFD) would open later this year.

Georgian leader thanked him for his "great support” in terms of supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and welcomed the French President to visit Georgia in the near future.

With the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, Garibashvili discussed the new partnership relations between the two countries where economic relations and investment opportunities were particularly discussed.

Garibashvili thanked Grybauskaite for her support in its Euro integration process and expressed hope that signing the Association Agreement (AA) with the EU would "create a new reality in Georgia-EU relations”.

Earlier in the day Prime Minister Garibashvili met European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Vice President of Brazil Michel Temer. Besides this, PM Garibashvili also met with the Interpol Chief.

When speaking with Van Rompuy, the planned signing of Georgia’s AA by June this year was the main topic of discussion and Garibashvili once again stated Georgia welcomed the European Council’s decision about fastening the AA signing date.

"We spoke about the prospects of moving the AA signing date even closer,” Garibashvili commented later to journalists.

The parties also spoke about the events in Ukraine. Garibashvili highlighted the Georgian Government did not rule out an increase of pressure from Russia before the AA was signed but said Georgia’s European course would not change.

In this context, the Prime Minister referred to the borderization process – the ongoing events in the occupied territories and surrounding villages – and said foreseeing the challenges facing the Eastern Partnership countries, it was very important the EU supported them. EC President Van Rompuy confirmed at the meeting that he would visit Georgia in May this year.

Meanwhile at his meeting with the Vice President of Brazil Michel Temer, Garibasvhili said Georgia had a good potential of becoming a logistic, financial, innovation and tourism hub in the region, which could greatly benefit Brazilian investors.

"Georgia’s geographic position will give Brazilian investors the possibility to have access to the markets of Caucasus and Central Asian markets, bringing more benefits to them” he said.

At the end of the day, Garibashvili together with leaders from 52 other countries attended the dinner hosted by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Today, at the second day of the Summit, the Georgian delegation’s schedule appeared busy. Prime Minister Garibashvili will deliver a public speech in order to highlight possible threats from the Russian side that may come through Georgia’s occupied territories.