Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, is in Brussels on July 22 to participate in a meeting of EU foreign ministers with their counterparts from the Eastern Partnership (EaP).
EU foreign affairs council in Brussels on July 22 is discussing issues related to Egypt, Southern Neighbourhood, Middle East peace process, Lebanon. Later on Monday afternoon, EU foreign ministers will be joined by their counterparts from EaP countries to discuss preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit on November 28-29 in Vilnius.
Georgia hopes to initial Association Agreement with the EU, which also includes deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFT), by the time of the Vilnius summit.
“We have been receiving signals that there is nothing that can impede initialing the agreement by the time of the Vilnius summit and I do not think that this decision will be changed,” Foreign Minister Panjikidze said.
Meanwhile in Tbilisi, Georgia’s Economy Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, announced on July 22 about completing DCFT talks with the EU.
“Last remaining details have already been agreed and we can state that negotiations on deep and comprehensive free trade area have been completed,” Kvirikashvili said. “Now the agreement will go through legal expertise to prepare it for signing.”
Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, whose country holds EU’s rotating presidency, said on July 22 that the meeting with EaP foreign ministers would be a good opportunity to discuss upcoming summit in Vilnius.
“We will be able to… encourage them [counterparts from EaP countries] to provide with more concrete deliverables before the [Vilnius] summit and to make the summit success,” Linkevičius said before the meeting.
“We are concerned with selective justice there and we will express those concerns to the [Georgian Foreign] Minister this afternoon,” Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, told journalists before the meeting.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told journalists before the meeting: “Germany is very much engaged in Eastern Partnership, because we think Europe is not complete without a clear perspective for our eastern neighbors.”