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European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia Needs Reinforcement

16.03.2009

At a Georgia-focused meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia needs to be extended and strengthened. Paet stated that the OSCE and UN missions are in need of the same reinforcement, although the mandates for those missions end this year in June.

At the meeting, during which developments in Georgia as well as EU-Georgia and NATO-EU relations were addressed, it was agreed that both the EU and NATO should be paying even more attention to Georgia. Foreign Minister Paet stated that it is essential to quickly begin EU-Georgia free trade agreement negotiations without setting additional prerequisites. "Estonia does not want for more to be required of Georgia than the EU has asked of other nations with whom it has initiated free trade agreement negotiations," he added.

Estonia also supports concluding an EU-Georgia visa facilitation and readmission agreement as soon as possible.

Also discussed was the progress of discussions in Geneva, which are addressing the situation in Georgia after the war. "These discussions must certainly not be a mechanism by which attempts will be made to legitimise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," said Paet.

While talking about NATO-Georgia relations, Paet said that Georgia has been one of NATO's most efficient partner states. "Georgia has the support of NATO. During the past few months a NATO-Georgia Commission and an annual national programme have been created for co-operation with Georgia. The national programme is Georgia's own document, which gives it freedom but also responsibility. Georgia's incorporation with the international forces in Afghanistan is also essential," Paet said.

Paet added that Georgia must continue to carry out democratic reforms. "Estonia has supported Georgia's reforms and will continue to do so," he asserted.

Other participants in the meeting on Georgia's developments were representatives of the USA, Great Britain, Turkey, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Bulgaria, as well as Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vasadze and European Union Special Representatives Pierre Morel and Peter Semneby.


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