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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Georgia Must Continue Efforts to Achieve Visa Waiver with European Union

19.10.2011

At their meeting in Tbilisi, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze discussed Georgia’s integration with the European Union and NATO as well as the promotion of bilateral relations.

While talking about Georgia’s integration with the European Union, Foreign Minister Paet noted that Estonia supports the country’s efforts towards becoming an EU member and encourages Georgia to continue carrying out reforms. “The visa facilitation and readmission agreement between the EU and Georgia that came into effect this year works well,” said Paet. “It is essential to continue co-operating and for Georgia to continue making an effort to achieve a visa waiver and to start visa-related negotiations with the European Union,” Paet said.

According to Foreign Minister Paet, Estonia also supports the start of negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement between the European Union and Georgia this year. “Negotiations for the association agreement have gone well,” he added.

The Estonian foreign minister stated that the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) plays an essential role and it should continue its work in Georgia. “The European Union’s strong and visible presence in Georgia is necessary; it is irreplaceable for the prevention of further conflicts. The EUMM should also be given access to Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.

While addressing Estonia-Georgia bilateral relations, Paet noted that Estonia is prepared to help Georgia carry out reforms and strengthen civil society within the framework of development co-operation. “The Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership is focused on increasing the administrative capacity of the public sector in our Eastern Partners. Estonia is also prepared to help establish a school of diplomacy in Georgia. In the coming years we hope to share our experiences in the areas of state administrative capacity, education, economic development, and civil society,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

Photo from the meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry

 

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