Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday said the country’s achievements deserved “a favourable decision” from the European Union and stressed granting Georgia the candidate status was “the only course of action”.
In his address to the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Garibashvili highlighted Georgia “as a frontrunner” among the fellow Associated Trio countries of Moldova and Ukraine and said he expected the bloc would “fairly” evaluate Georgia’s performance and the current geopolitical context in the region.
He highlighted that the recognition of the European perspective last June “has opened a new chapter” in the Georgia-EU relationship and emphasised the country had demonstrated its “unwavering commitment” to address the 12 priorities set forth for EU candidate status.
The Head of the Government also said that according to recent surveys, “nearly” 90 percent of Georgians supported the country’s European membership.
Each step we take seeks to bring Georgia back into the European family where it belongs”, he added.
The “remarkable achievements” of the Georgian Government since 2012 were emphasised by the PM, including the signing of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area deal with the EU in 2014 and agreeing visa-free travel with the bloc, as well as “demonstrating our [the Government’s] geopolitical priority to become an EU member state”.
Garibashvili highlighted Georgia as “a responsible member of the international community actively contributing to global peace” and said the country had “significantly contributed” to the EU-led missions.
Georgia sacrificed greatly to protect shared values and common interests, the PM stressed and noted that the country had made "substantial" commitments to NATO missions worldwide, making Georgia one of the largest per capita contributors to the NATO missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.