Foreign Ministers from the Benelux countries, who held talks with the Georgian leadership in Tbilisi, reiterated support to Georgia European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
Didier Reynders Belgium, Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands and Jean Asselborn of Luxembourg, who arrived in Tbilisi after visiting Moldova, met their Georgian counterpart Maia Panjikidze; President Saakashvili and PM Ivanishvili on September 5.
“As Benelux countries, we want to be Georgia’s partner in finding its path to the future, in finding ways in creating more jobs for the Georgian people, more growth for the Georgian economy, more stability for Georgia,” Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said during a joint press conference with the Georgian Foreign Minister.
“It is beyond any doubt that to achieve this Georgia will choose a closer relationship with the European Union and also in that process we want to be your partner,” he added.
“We are here as Europeans to help, not to tell you what you have to do, but to help to bring more democracy and to stabilize democracy in this country. The presidential elections are important elections in October, the local elections in 2014 are also very important,” Foreign Minister of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn said and added in reference to Georgia’s relations with Russia: “We are here as friends of Georgia, trying to accompany Georgia in this difficult situation you have… and to also tell to increase relations with your big neighbor, Russia.”
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said: “We will support the process and the decision of Georgia to be closer to the European Union and also to become the member of NATO.”
According to the President’s office, during a meeting with the Benelux foreign ministers, President Saakashvili discussed trade and economic cooperation, EU and NATO integration and EU Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November. “The members of the delegation noted necessity of continuation of democratic reforms. One of the major topics of discussions was the upcoming presidential elections,” the President’s administration said.
According to the Georgian PM’s office, Bidzina Ivanishvili thanked the foreign ministers of the Benelux countries for their support to Georgia’s EU and NATO integration and told them that Georgia would hold “European type” of presidential election “for the first time” this October and after the election of new president “the process of cohabitation will be over.”
The Georgian PM also said that despite of ‘borderisation’ process carried out by Russia across the Abkhaz and South Ossetian administrative boundary lines, Georgia was maintaining “consistent, principled and constructive” stance.