EU officials praise Georgia as frontrunner of Eastern Partnership

EU officials meet Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili in Tbilisi. Photo: PM's press office., 31 Jan 2017 - 18:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is an exemplary state within the Eastern Partnership initiative, European Union (EU) officials told Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze today.

Senior officials from the EU – Thomas Mayr-Harting, Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia at European External Action Service and Christian Danielsson, the European Commission’s Director General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations – are in Tbilisi today for a two-day official visit.

"Georgia is a notably dynamic partner within the Eastern Partnership. It’s exemplary and impressive how Georgia aspires to the European market”, said Mayr-Harting while meeting with Janelidze today.

The parties discussed ongoing reforms under the Association Agreement and the European Neighborhood Policy.

Key issues and prospects of Georgia-EU relations were also discussed at the meeting. The discussion involved the new 2017-2020 Association Agenda and preparations for the upcoming 4th Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels, Belgium in November.

"Special attention was paid to the importance of finalising procedures for visa liberalisation in a timely manner, and hope was expressed that Georgia's citizens will enjoy visa-free travel in the nearest future”, the PM’s press office said in a statement.

The officials reaffirmed unwavering EU support for Georgia's territorial integrity within its internationally-recognised borders.

The Eastern Partnership is an EU initiative that provides a framework for discussing trade, travel and other strategic partnership agreements between the EU and the six states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.