Foreign Minister Janelidze: “Georgia is becoming a key regional player”

  • Georgia’s Foreign Minister delivered a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. Photo by Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs., 17 Mar 2016 - 17:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze delivered a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. today where he stressed Georgia was shaping itself as a key player in the region.

  • The Washington-based Atlantic Council is a think tank that focuses on international affairs. Founded in 1961, the Council provides a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders.

While speaking about Georgia’s significant role in the region Janelidze, who launched his American business trip on March 14, focused on the necessity of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, Russia’s continuing aggression, the ongoing reforms in Georgia and prospects for Georgia’s economic development.

We are moving towards the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and we are progressing well on that path. We are strengthening our importance as a key player in the region,” Janelidze said.

The Minister stressed signing the EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA) was "the biggest emotional achievement” for the people of Georgia as it was the long-awaited prospect for the country to become a fully-fledged member of the European community.

Janelidze said Georgia is a reliable partner. Photo by Georgia's Foreign Ministry. 

In this regard Janelidze spoke about the success Georgia had achieved while implementing its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan (VLAP) with the EU and stressed Georgia had fulfilled all requirements and recommendations under the VLAP, which led to Georgia being granted a visa-free regime with the EU. This was due to come into effect in the coming months.

It means Georgia is a reliable and trusted partner to which the EU can open its borders,” Janelidze said. 

Speaking about NATO-Georgia relations Janelidze said Georgia was "working hard” with its partners to ensure Georgia’s progress towards NATO integration was adequately assessed at the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland.

Meanwhile Russia’s continual violation and occupation of Georgian land was a topic Janelidze spoke passionately about. He said despite ongoing provocations from the Russian side, Georgia tried to promote "careful and pragmatic policies” that would lead to normalising relations. 

We try to do more to engage with the people living in the occupied territories to provide them with all the benefits we are providing to people living in the Georgian-controlled territories,” he said.

In his presentation the Minister spoke extensively about the reforms carried out by the Georgian Government in terms of rule of law, creating an inclusive Government, ensuring fundamental rights and freedoms and engagement of civil society.

Georgia’s economic development including the improvement of the country’s investment environment, attraction of investments, liberalisation of the tax system, economic growth and reduction of unemployment were also key highlights of the Minister’s speech.  

Janelidze will complete his meetings in the United States tomorrow.