Mikheil Saakashvili attended the Eastern Partnership Summit

The President of Georgia is attending the Summit where 27 EU Member States and 6 Eastern Partnership countries are participating. Simplifying visa procedures and starting negotiations regarding the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union are the main topics of discussion for the Georgian side.

Mikheil Saakashvili addressed a closed session and talked about the future relationship of Georgia and the EU. After the address the President made remarks in front of representatives of the media.

“The most important thing that has changed is that, today and yesterday, many leaders noted that Georgia must become a member of the EU. It couldn’t be said aloud several years ago. This is a huge change. Aside from that, it has to be noted that according to the European and American press, Georgia is the most developed among the Eastern Partnership countries. This fact is very important to me. There were talks about Moldova but our country has first place in this sense.  This means that all of the reforms we implemented months and years ago have turned out to be successful. The most important thing is that our people kept the integrity of their souls in an unimaginably tough situation, trusted us, followed us, demanded reforms from the entire political establishment and caught up with the most modern processes. In terms of the simplicity of doing business, fighting crime, potential reforms, and achieving set goals Georgia has done better than many leading countries of the European Union. It is no longer a secret that the representatives of the French Ministry of Justice come to Georgia in order to study potential reforms. It may have been a surprise locally, but we have reached levels at which even leading European countries are sharing our experience. For example, the European Union held a seminar about fighting crime, at which they are studying how we have achieved the reduction of crime by so much in such a short period of time. On one hand, we can share our experience regarding many issues, on the other hand we should understand that it is essential to get closer to the EU and become a member for the sake of our security and development. We cannot stay alone because Georgia is located in a tough region and is facing enormous challenges. Membership of a particular union is a matter of life and death for us. Georgia is no longer a member of CIS; moreover, the membership in this organization did not give us much. In this sense, being a part of the European family is the most acceptable for us.” – stated Mikheil Saakashvili.

During his meeting with journalists, the President of Georgia mentioned Belarus and noted that this country must be represented in the Eastern Partnership.

“Without Belarus, this union will not be a fully functional partnership. It is essential that the EU does not lose control of this process and the other large neighbor does not gain it, which is in the interests of that neighbor. We noted that the representative of Belarus is not present in this hall today and it is very bad. It is imperative that we do everything, including a dialogue and negotiations with different powers, in order to change the situation before the next sessions. The European Union is doing well by talking with the representatives of a civil society. They should start an official dialogue with Minsk in the same fashion, so that this country takes its place at the table of negotiations. It is important in order for the EU to keep its role as the main player. We have already expressed this.  I think despite all the difficulties, we have to find a way out in the future. This situation cannot continue in the same way. “– noted the President of Georgia.

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