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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Resolution of Georgia Conflict Must Be Grounded in Principle of Territorial Integrity

14.05.2011

When meeting with Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that for the sake of the peaceful resolution of the Georgia conflict and ensuring the human rights of its victims, progress must be made in such a way that respects Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

At the meeting, Paet recognised Georgia’s progress in carrying out political and economic as well as security and defence-related reforms. “Georgia has done a lot to reform its society, and it continues to be important to base activities on the idea of Georgia’s territorial integrity,” he said. The foreign minister added that for this reason it is also important to include the occupied territories of Georgia, an endeavour that should be facilitated by the European Union’s strategy on the occupied territories.

Thanks to the strategy on the occupied territories, Foreign Minister Paet said that Estonia is also gearing many of its development co-operation projects to support the people living in the occupied areas. “Of our most recent co-operation projects I can highlight the organisation of a summer holiday in Estonia for young Georgian IDPs, building children’s playgrounds in the refugee villages of Shida-Kartli and Mtskheta-Mtianeti, and supporting the Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Centre in Gali,” said Paet, giving some examples.

The foreign minister emphasised at the meeting that developing economic relations between the European Union and Georgia would also help with reforms in Georgia. “Starting negotiations for a broad free trade agreement is also an important step on the path to EU integration. We hope that negotiations will begin already this fall,” said Foreign Minister Paet. “The visa facilitation agreement between the European Union and Georgia that came into force in March of this year will also help to expand peoples’ opportunities for travel,” he added.


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