The European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker told Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili in Brussels yesterday that her first official visit to EU headquarters was “symbolic,” revealing the will of the Georgian people to be with the EU.
The visit is a gesture which we greatly welcome. We support Georgia’s European intentions, as we see very well that the country is progressing quickly,” Juncker stated.
Juncker noted that in November 2017, he told the Georgian government that they are the only government of a non-EU member state with whom the European Commission has a meeting format.
Such meetings will continue,” Juncker said.
Margaritis Schinas, the chief spokesperson of the European Commission called Zurabishvili’s first official visit abroad ‘tangible proof of Georgia's firm European commitment’ on his Twitter account:
Jean-Claude Juncker stated that Georgia-EU relations are progressing in different fields:
#Georgia ???????? and the #EuropeanCommunity ???????? are stronger together. I was honored to meet with @EU_Commission President @JunckerEU today as part of my first foreign trip as #President, to discuss a promising future in partnership, trade, and progress. pic.twitter.com/Y3mCOROJwz— Salome Zourabichvili (@Zourabichvili_S) January 22, 2019
Juncker stated that he was concerned by the current situation in the two occupied regions of Georgia Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).
We believe that it will be necessary for us to speak about the necessity of protecting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in every possible situation,” Juncker said.
Zurabishvili thanked Juncker for the “warm reception” and invited him to Georgia’s coastal city of Batumi this year to participate in a conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership initiative.
She stated that choosing Brussels as her first foreign destination in the role had a “clear and symbolic connotation.”
My first visit to Brussels reflected the priorities which are written in the Georgian constitution. The priorities refer to Georgia’s European integration, integration into a space to which Georgia belongs because of its culture, spirit and identity,” Zurabishvili said.
She stated that Juncker’s participation in the Batumi conference will be an opportunity to summarise the progress that has already been achieved and making new goals.
Zurabishvili spoke about the importance of the European Union Monitoring mission in Georgia, which is a “unique mission at the occupation line.”
The existence of the mission is vitally important for the people living on both sides of the occupation line. The mission empowers the feeling of security in them. The mission empowers the felling in the Georgian government and the Georgian people that the EU physically stands with us,” Zurabishvili said.
???????????????? The #peaceful efforts pursued by #Georgia to solve the issues with our #occupiedterritories can only be successful with the determined support of our #European partners. Once again, thank you to the European community for important continuation of the EU Monitoring mission pic.twitter.com/gtlRl2nDXL— Salome Zourabichvili (@Zourabichvili_S) January 23, 2019
Zurabishvili said that Georgia will be able to cope with current security and territorial challenges with the help of foreign partners.