The President of Georgia: “Our country is moving to a very hard stage, one of the most important steps of which is continuation of Euro-Atlantic integration”

The President of Georgia assessed the work of the European People’s Party Congress. Mikheil Saakashvili spoke about the importance of the forum, and noted that this was a very important session for Georgia. According to him, representatives of most of the European states positively assessed the democratic processes going on in the country. However, he later added that Europe expects these processes to continue and it gives them very high importance. The Head of State focused attention on strengthening the Euro-Atlantic course of the country, and called on the new government for constructive cooperation.

“Our country is moving to a very hard stage, one of the most important steps of which is continuation of Euro-Atlantic integration. The NATO Ministerial will be held in December. If we work with the new government after these elections, we have a chance to make one more step forward in terms of NATO integration. We were told that the elections would be the main test and now we are ready to get involved in this process on all levels within the scope of coordinated work with the new Prime Minister, the new Foreign Minister and the new government in general so that we seize this window of opportunity. We have vast experience and trust. Now if we focus on a constructive approach despite all the obstacles, which are inevitable, we will be able to use this important period for the country in terms of NATO and EU integration. After meeting with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, the main chance we are being given now is to achieve visa free travel and free trade with Europe next year, as well as signing an association agreement.” – stated Mikheil Saakashvili.

The President of Georgia focused attention on the importance of this process and noted that the principal of equality, which the government had been trying to implement for the past 8 years, is the main value of Europe. Accordingly, he stated that because of the union of common values between Georgia and Europe, it will never close its door or leave us in harm’s way. Hence, Mikheil Saakashvili considers that going to the European market has no alternative, and according to him the following year will be decisive.

“Under no circumstance we should lose what we have gained in the last 8 years. We were building, we gained the trust of European institutions, and we raised very good diplomats who are working in this direction. The reform process of Georgia brought us this result. We are one step away from having our citizens travel to Europe visa free with their Georgian passports, carry all of our products customs free and feel like full members of Europe and participants of its processes. It is true that we won’t be members for now, but Georgia will be being looked at through a magnification glass for the next several months. I call on everyone to closely work with the new government because in this case the position of the government is the position of Georgia. We must assist in having a dialogue with the new government on all levels so that Georgia’s progress continues. In the end all of this is the progress of Georgia because we are all Georgians and it cannot be otherwise. I, as President, will act in the interests of Georgia. The Parliament opposition must also act not as opposition of the country, but as an active political force, which will assist the country’s advancement.  The new government is saying that they want to continue the road towards NATO. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has said this, and I would like this dialogue with the candidate for Prime Minister to continue. I understand that we have different opinions but the Georgian society has one opinion about this issue. The Georgian nation has a strong position, and if we work well it is possible that they will move us to the next step during the NATO Ministerial in December. This is the moment when it is possible for our readiness for NATO integration to become irreversible. However, very close cooperation is needed for this and I think we will be able to do it. I am ready to work in this direction. There is readiness for this today in terms of the international community, and it would be very bad if we lose this chance” – stated the Head of State.

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