Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili met Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in Batumi on July 11.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Georgian PM after the meeting, Štefan Füle said that he had “a very frank and productive” conversation with PM Ivanishvili, where they “discussed the busy agenda of our bilateral links and the Eastern Partnership dimension.”
Georgia expects to initial Association Agreement, also including deep and comprehensive free trade treaty, with the EU at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November.
“We both hope to be able to finalise and initialize these at the Vilnius Summit,” Commissioner Füle said at the joint press conference.
Ivanishvili said that Georgia was moving to “a new stage” of relations with the European Union that “will make Georgia’s EU integration irreversible.” He expressed hope that the Vilnius summit would be “historic.”
Commissioner Füle stressed the importance the EU attaches to “constructive cohabitation and cooperation” between the various branches of power.
“I have also stressed the importance of ensuring that justice is fair and free of any political interference. I welcome the Georgian government's commitment to ensure that criminal prosecutions will be transparent and fully respecting due process. It is important that this commitment be reflected in the public statements of politicians, and in their actions. This includes a profound respect for the presumption of innocence, but of course not allowing impunity either,” he said.
“We respect the wish of the Georgian people to address any legacies of past abuse, and we trust that this will be done in full conformity with Georgia's international obligations and European values,” Commissioner Füle.
PM Ivanishvili stressed his government’s commitment to the cohabitation process and in this context he mentioned his recent meeting with UNM parliamentary minority leader, Davit Bakradze, and Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili that took place in his private seaside residence in Ureki, western Georgia, on July 6.
PM Ivanishvili also said that the October presidential elections would demonstrate that “our country is moving ahead in terms of democratic development.”
“Let me also appreciate your yesterday’s declaration, which, I think, has set up a right tone for that important event in Georgia,” Commissioner Füle said.
He also said that “we still need to see further strengthening of Georgia's democratic institutions, promoting political pluralism and media freedom.”
Füle arrived in Georgia on July 9 and met President Saakashvili; then he left for Armenia on July 10 before again arriving in Georgia to participate in a conference in Black Sea resort town of Batumi on July 11-12.
On July 11 Füle also held meetings with government members, lawmakers and civil society representatives.