Georgia’s “proper representation” at next NATO summit will be “important message” - FM

Foreign minister Ilia Darchiashvili on Thursday addressed the state legislature. Photo: Imedi TV, 20 Oct 2022 - 16:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s “proper representation” at the NATO summit in Vilnius next year will be an “important message” for both the country and the international community, foreign minister Ilia Darchiashvili said in his address to the parliament on Thursday.

The minister noted the “genuine result” of the country’s participation in the alliance’s recent Madrid summit, in the form of the approval of the “needs-oriented” support package for Georgia. He also said Georgian authorities were “actively involved” in the process of the alliance developing its new strategic concept, which is expected to reaffirm NATO’s “strong support” for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Darchiashvili told MPs next year the country would be focused on the “timely and effective implementation” of the alliance’s support package and in preparations for the Vilnius summit “for the final document [...] to reflect the country’s interests”.

The cooperation between Georgia and the bloc has been developing “dynamically” this year, he noted, with Georgia “efficiently using all available tools” for its NATO integration, including the NATO-Georgia Commission, the Annual National Programme and the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package. 

FM Darchiashvili has praised the current trend in NATO-Georgia relations. Photo: foreign ministry press office 

The foreign minister told lawmakers ensuring the engagement of the Georgian diaspora in the country’s development process was among the government’s “top priorities”. “It is important for Georgia to have a strong diaspora, which will actively pursue the country's interests abroad," he said. 

To promote the goal, the FM said his body had participated in the Global Diaspora Summit, joined the Dublin Declaration - an action plan for global diaspora engagement - and also hosted a session entitled “Georgian Diaspora and Science Beyond Borders” with the support of the International Organisation for Migration and the UNESCO.

Work on “further improving” consular services and developing the institute of an honorary consul is also ongoing at the ministry, he said, noting Georgia currently had 85 honorary consuls in 64 foreign countries.

Opening of new consular institutions and adding the number of honorary consuls will serve to “protect the interests of Georgian citizens more effectively”, Darchiashvili told the parliament.