Georgian Parliament Speaker highlights “strategic ties” with Hungary, country’s “unconditional” support at meeting with counterpart

  • Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Monday hosted his Hungarian counterpart László Kövér. Photo: Parliament press office, 18 Sep 2023 - 13:07, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Monday highlighted the strategic partnership signed with Hungary last year and the latter country’s “firm and unconditional” support for Georgia’s European integration in a Tbilisi meeting with his Hungarian counterpart László Kövér. 

Papuashvili called the opportunity to host his colleague a “great honour” and added it was “important” for Tbilisi to have support from member states of the European Union and NATO for its own Euro-Atlantic aspirations, adding his body was taking actions to further strengthen strategic partnership with Hungary in the Parliamentary format. 

We welcome and appreciate the high-level statements of the Hungarian side, which clearly and unconditionally support Georgia on its path to joining the EU. This is what our country and its European future need most today”, Papuashvili said. 

He noted the meeting also discussed Georgia’s implementation of the 12-point conditions outlined by the EU last year for granting Tbilisi its membership candidate status, “dynamically developing bilateral ties” and the potential to further strengthen trade, tourism, economy and energy cooperation. 

For his part, the visiting official highlighted “Georgia's place is definitely in the EU”, and that his Government would ensure its “vocal support” and “practical aid” on the path. 

He also urged the bloc to “urgently correct its mistake” in 2022, in reference to the EU bodies’ decision to only grant a European perspective to Georgia while Ukraine and Moldova received the bloc’s full candidacy with conditions.

Georgia not only deserves the status, but in every sense the country is a part of Christian Europe. It is the second-oldest country in Christian Europe. Christianity is the foundation of Europe in general”, he said. 

Kövér stressed Hungary would take over the European Council chairmanship in the second half of 2024, and expressed hopes Tbilisi would make “even more progress” on its EU path. 

He added the “progress” could also include the country’s application for NATO membership, and stressed the West “should guarantee Georgia's security, and NATO is the only way to guarantee security in the [South Caucasus] region”.