President Saakashvili and Prime Minister Ivanishvili have both stated about their readiness to make a joint statement reiterated Georgia’s commitment to Euro-Atlantic integration.
President Saakashvili and PM Ivanishvili made the announcement after meeting on March 5 separately with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, who is visiting Tbilisi as part of his trip to three South Caucasus countries.
““I would like to welcome the statement of Mr. President and I also welcome commitment of Prime Minister. We really need positive signals from Georgia in order to make sure that the way towards Euro-Atlantic integration is irreversible, it’s clear, it’s united, it’s joint. I believe that all internal problems will be solved and the national interests will be put on the top of the agenda,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linkevičius said.
PM Ivanishvili said after meeting with Linkevičius that the Lithuanian Foreign Minister offered to make the joint statement.
“On my part I agreed on making a joint statement in order to make it clear and useful for Europeans that a kind of relationship and cohabitation is underway between the old and new authorities,” PM Ivanishvili said.
He also said that a meeting between him and the President might be needed to discuss details of this issue.
President Saakashvili first offered the PM to make such a joint statement reiterating Georgia’s commitment to Euro-Atlantic integration in November, but at the time it was not made possible.
“I want to reconfirm our old proposal according to which the Prime Minister and I will appeal to the European Union and NATO jointly, to lay out a joint plan that despite our inner political differences, we want to continue our Euro-Atlantic and European foreign policy course,” President Saakashvili said during the meeting with Lithuanian Foreign Minister.
He said that making such joint statement would be a good continuation of a dialogue between him and the Prime Minister and simultaneously would help to maintain momentum in Georgia’s relations with Euro-Atlantic structures.
“It will be a demonstration of unity of Georgia’s political class”, he said and added that it would also demonstrate that “we will put all differences aside” when it comes to Georgia’s “strategic vision and interests.”
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister said after meeting with the PM, that internal political differences “should not be an obstacle for your very concrete, consistent way towards Euro-Atlantic integration.”
Lithuania will take over EU’s rotating presidency in the second half of 2013 and Vilnius will host the Eastern Partnership summit in November.
Georgia aims at completing negotiations with EU on Association Agreement, also including deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, by the time of the Vilnius summit.
“We believe that by the summit [there will be] clear achievements by Georgia in regard of Association Agreement, ending of negotiations in regard of free trade agreement,” the Lithuanian Foreign Minister said. “You are on a good track and we hope that time will not be wasted and the achievements will be done.”