Donald Tusk on his visit to Georgia: “Georgia is an important partner and friend of the EU”

11-07-2019
Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

On 11 July, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, met with the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili.

“Georgia is an important partner and friend of the EU,” Tusk said. “And in our meeting, we discussed the strong EU-Georgia relations, and how to further develop them.”

Tusk confirmed that EU-Georgia trade has been increasing, adding that more will be done to explore the full potential of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area: “On the basis of our Association Agreement we are advancing our cooperation in many areas, from education to agriculture, from economic development to environment.”

The European Council President highlighted the benefits of visa-free travel between the EU and Georgia. “Your unique cultural heritage – including your polyphonic music and cuisine - is capturing the hearts of more and more of us,” he said. “In the context of visa free travel, we agree on the need for stepped up, joint efforts to effectively handle the current challenges.”

Tusk also referred to Russia's recent decision to ban flights to Georgia, saying that this “is unjustified and disproportionate”.

“The EU stands with Georgia in solidarity and with full commitment to your sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.

Tusk also welcomed “the ongoing process to address shortcomings from previous elections, as reported by the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and others, as well as the government's decision to hold elections in 2020 under a fully proportional system.”

While Tusk is in the country, he will also attend an international conference entitled “Georgia’s European Way”, which is taking place in Batumi.

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Text of the remarks

EU-Georgia relations – facts and figures