Ambassadorial 2016: Georgian leaders, diplomats exchange views

The Ambassadorial 2016 will run from July 26 to July 29. Photo by the PM’s press office, 26 Jul 2016 - 13:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Heads of Georgian Diplomatic Missions abroad are convening in Tbilisi today to meet the country leaders and productively exchange views on Georgia’s domestic and foreign policies.

Capital Tbilisi is hosting an annual four-day diplomatic meeting known as Ambassadorial where the country’s top officials and diplomats sum up policies Georgia has embraced in the past year, and plan future activities.

Despite the pluralism and diversity of opinion in the country, all political forces in Georgia are united to implement Georgia’s foreign political goals and this was reiterated and proven by the July 8 declaration, Prime Minister said this morning.

In his lengthy speech given at the 2016 Ambassadorial meeting, PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili talked about the achievements Georgia enjoyed in the past 12 months.

Kvirikashvili named the number one achievement of Georgia was marked on July 1 when the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU) fully came into force, fulfilling the dream of many generations in Georgia.

European integration was the focus of President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s speech. He said this process didn’t mean deepening relations only with Brussels and EU nations; Georgia’s goal was to intensify relations with all European capitals and Margvelashvili believed Georgia was successfully fulfilling this goal.

Another topic discussed at the Ambassadorial meeting was Georgia’s visa liberalisation with the EU.

"Visa liberalisation between the EU and Georgia is recognition of our political development, many successful reforms and our European direction,” Kvirikashvili said, adding the visa liberalisation process had entered its final phase.
"We hope that the final decision on Georgian citizens’ visa-free travel to the EU states is just a matter of time and this decision will be taken in the nearest future”.

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili. Photo by the PM's press office

The same message was voiced by Georgia’s Ambassador to the EU Natalia Sabanadze. She said there were no obstacles in the way of Georgia’s visa liberalisation.

"We should get back to this process in September. So far there is no obstacle there and we expect that this issue will be decided positively soon. I always avoid mentioning concrete dates because dates change,” the Ambassador said.

Meanwhile Kvirikashvili spoke about Georgia’s relations with NATO and the United States (US), noting the past months had been positive in deepening relations with these partners. He stressed the importance of the recent NATO Summit in Warsaw and US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Georgia.

Russia was also mentioned at Georgian diplomatic gathering. Kvirikashvili said: "When 20 percent of the country remains occupied and the neighbouring country is, in fact, annexing integral regions of Georgia, of course it’s impossible to talk about any progress and achievements in relation with them.”

"However the result of our pragmatic policy towards Russia, which has no alternative, is avoiding war and armed confrontations although we’re permanently provoked to do the opposite.”

Kvirikashvili also confirmed Georgia wanted reconciliation with citizens who lived in the occupied regions and the Government was ready to share with them the benefits the AA brought to Georgia.

The Ambassadorial 2016 will run from July 26 to July 29 and cover all important topics that the Government and its diplomatic missions abroad need to communicate with each other.

The first ever Ambassadors Meeting was held in 1995 when Georgia’s newly-appointed Foreign Minister, Irakli Menagarishvili, brought Georgian and foreign diplomats together at the Georgian Government’ s Chancery, where they discussed plans for developing the country, regional relations and future prospects.