Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Wednesday said the European Union Monitoring mission - which observes developments adjacent to the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) - was a “symbol of the close cooperation” and “strong support” from “our European friends”.
In his remarks at an event dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the mission’s presence in the country, Garibashvili said the EU had taken a “decisive” step by establishing it in Georgia back in 2008 following the Russian invasion of the country.
We reflect together on the path we have taken to ensure peace and stability in the region. [...] The EU Monitoring mission has played a key role in our quest for stability and reconciliation”, Garibashvili told the audience.
“We Georgians greatly respect the mission's commitment to the idea of round-the-clock monitoring and tireless efforts to build trust among the local population”, the Government head continued.
Garibashvili stressed the presence of the EUMM “clearly” demonstrated the EU's “significant” support for the country, and further called the development “very valuable”.
Over the past years, the EU Monitoring mission has played a crucial role in preventing the escalation of the conflict in Georgia. The mission aligns with our goals of maintaining peace, helping local populations on both sides of the administrative border, and building trust”, he noted.
Garibashvili added the Georgian Dream Government had “continuously and successfully” maintained peace and stability in the country over the past 10 years, leading the country to “economic progress”.
The invasion of Russia in 2008 had severe consequences for our citizens. The unstable situation due to Russian aggression and the war in Ukraine reminds us of the need for peace and conflict resolution in Eastern Europe, including the Russia-Georgia conflict. The involvement of the EU Monitoring mission in this process is really crucial, and we hope that sooner or later we will be able to achieve this goal”, Garibashvili said.
He also expressed his Government’s “full support” to the mission and extended his “sincere gratitude” to the EU and the mission team, while pointing out the ongoing commitment “we share for the peace, reconciliation and prosperity of all citizens of Georgia”.