- FM: Georgia ready for talks with Russia without preconditions
About four dozen of Georgian diplomats accredited in foreign countries are gathered at an ambassadorial summit in Tbilisi on September 7-9 to discuss the country’s foreign policy priorities.
“Creating secured and stable environment around Georgia; attracting foreign direct investments and facilitating efforts to continue building of the state, based on democracy and liberal free-market principle” are the priorities, Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian foreign minister told journalists before addressing diplomats behind the closed doors on September 7.
Temur Yakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, told journalists before addressing diplomats, that one of the priorities was to achieve an international recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as occupied territories.
“We have moved from the stage when we were working on non-recognition of these territories [by international community as independent entities]… Of course non-recognition policy remains, but now we are working to achieve an international recognition of these [regions] as occupied territories,” he said.
Later on the same day, speaking at a joint news conference with his visiting Estonian counterpart, Urmas Paet, the Georgian Foreign Minister said that Tbilisi was ready for talks with Russia without any preconditions.
Asked how much time it would take for Georgia and Russia to engage in direct dialogue, Vashadze responded: “I’m not in a business of fortune-telling; I cannot make any guess. What I can tell you is that Georgia is ready to talk to Russia anytime, anyplace, about any subject with no precondition – this is the fundamental difference between democracy and non-democracy; Russia tells us that they are not willing to deal or to talk with the Georgian government, which is elected by this nation.”
“Eventually Russia will have to talk to us and Russia will have to de-occupy our territories and to establish normal, civilized relationship with us, exactly the same way as eventually Russia had to normalize relationship with the Baltic countries; but I cannot tell when – I hope sooner than later,” Vashadze added.
During the ambassadorial summit, the Georgian diplomats will listen to addresses from the Georgian senior government members. Visiting Estonian Foreign Minister has also addressed the diplomats and the same is expected by Finnish Foreign Minister, Alexander Stubb, when he arrives in Tbilisi on September 8, as well as by OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut. The summit will be closed with the address of President Saakashvili on September 9.