France supports Georgia “in every issue absolutely without any preconditions,” President Saakashvili said after meeting with his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Paris on June 8.
“We have discussed all the issues, including the assistance by the European Union and France; issues related with Russia’s non-fulfillment of ceasefire agreement as well as Georgia’s further integration into NATO and bilateral relations,” Saakashvili told journalists after the meeting in the Elysee Palace.
“I think, it is a very important visit for us because we have the major state in the European Union, which supports Georgia in every issue completely, absolutely, without any preconditions and reservations,” he said in remarks aired by the Georgian television stations.
“You know that this is the first-ever official visit of the President of Georgia to France. I have been here several times previously. I was the first foreign leader, who was invited here on a working visit after the election of President Sarkozy; but those visits were not official ones,” he said and added that the official visit was a demonstration of President Sarkozy’s support towards Georgia.
“And on the other had it also demonstrates the fact that we have become more European country,” Saakashvili said.
In a press release issued before the meeting, the Elysee Palace said that during the talks the French President would reiterate support to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as Georgia’s EU integration.
The meeting came few days earlier before the French President’s planned talks with Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin in Paris on June 11.
“The fact that my visit has been organised two days before Putin’s visit sends a very clear message... This buries Russia’s efforts to isolate our country," Saakashvili said.
France's plan to sell up to four Mistral warships to Russia, capable of carrying 16 helicopters and a 750-strong troops, was also raised during the meeting between the two Presidents.
The French news agency, AFP, reported quoting Sarkozy's aide after the meeting that the French President told his Georgian counterpart that "if Russia is expected to behave like a partner in every domain, including in the area of security and defence, then it must be treated like a partner in every domain."
He also said Sarkozy told Saakashvili that France was "one of the main supporters of Georgia" within the EU and was pushing for talks on closer ties between the EU and Georgia.