Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, was in Poland on May 17 for a meeting of foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group and the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, as well as of Ireland and Lithuania, current and upcoming holders of EU presidency, respectively.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Štefan Füle also participate in the meeting held in Kraków and Wieliczka to discuss cooperation with a view to the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November, 2013.
Apart of Georgia, EU Eastern Partnership initiative also involves Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The Visegrad Group of states includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
In a declaration after the meeting, the foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group, Ireland and Lithuania expressed their “strong support” to initialling the Association Agreement and deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with Moldova, Georgia and Armenia at the Vilnius summit.
“They also welcomed progress made by Georgia in the implementation of the first phase of the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation,” the declaration reads.
“In Krakow we confirmed our commitment to our Eastern Partners and expressed our aspirations for a successful summit to be hosted in Vilnius later this year. It is really important to ensure that we continue to work closely together to ensure that our partners to the East see the strength of our commitment to them,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.
On the sideline of the meeting, Georgia’s foreign minister Maia Panjikidze held talks with the EU foreign policy chief.
“We have talked about current developments in Georgia; we have discussed the progress Georgia has achieved in recent months; how Georgia is preparing for the Vilnius Summit,” Panjikidze said.
She also said that the Geneva talks was also discussed during the meeting with Ashton and importance of Georgia-Russian bilateral dialogue, led by Georgian PM’s special envoy Zurab Abashidze and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin, who will hold their next meeting in early June, was noted. Panjikidze said that Georgia-sponsored IDP resolution, which will be pushed at the UN General Assembly in June, was also discussed.