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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the conclusions on the South Caucasus adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia welcomes the conclusions on the South Caucasus, including Georgia adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 27 February 2012. This document provides further evidence of particular intensification of relations between Georgia and the European Union.

The EU welcomes the significant progress made in the framework of the Eastern Partnership to strengthen the European Union's relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and remains committed to promoting prosperity, security, democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance, sustainable development and regional cooperation throughout the South Caucasus.

The EU acknowledges the European aspirations and European choice of Georgia and its commitment to build deep and sustainable democracy. The EU welcomes Georgia's efforts in modernizing and reforming its society and fighting corruption. The EU stresses the utmost importance of ensuring that the Parliamentary elections in 2012 and the Presidential elections in 2013 meet internationally recognized democratic standards and will closely monitor developments in Georgia leading up to the elections. The EU welcomes the progress made in the negotiations on the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia, and the launch of negotiations on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

The EU also encourages and stresses the need for continued effective implementation of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission agreements in order to open a visa dialogue between EU and Georgia. The EU reconfirms its readiness to promote mobility of citizens of Georgia and to take gradual steps, including establishing a two-phased Visa Action Plan, towards a visa-free regime in a secure and well managed environment in due course.

The EU reiterates its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders and reiterates its concern about the continuing Russian military and security-related presence and infrastructure reinforcements in the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The EU calls on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 and the Implementing Measures of 8 September 2008, including by providing access to EUMM to the breakaway regions.

The EU calls on the participants of the Geneva International Discussion to the conflict to continue to work together towards sustainable security arrangements. In this regard, a clear non-use of force commitment by Russia would be necessary.

The EU confirms its commitment to remain engaged and involved in the stabilization and conflict resolution efforts in Georgia, including by continuing its engagement as co-chair in the Geneva Discussions, the efforts of the EUSR for South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia and the continued presence of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM).

The EU welcomes the steps undertaken by Georgia in implementing its strategy on engagement with the breakaway regions.

The EU reiterates its commitment to help improve the situation of Internally Displaced Persons in Georgia and refugees from the conflicts and their unconditional right to safe and dignified return.

 

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/128197.pdf

 

Tbilisi, 27 February 2012

 

 
 

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