French and German foreign ministers, Laurent Fabius and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, respectively, will visit Tbilisi as part of their joint three-nation trip, which also includes Moldova and Tunisia on April 23-25.
The two foreign ministers were planning their joint visits to Moldova and Georgia in March, but at the time the trip was postponed because of developments in Ukraine.
The German Foreign Minister, who met his Georgian counterpart in Berlin two weeks ago, said in a statement ahead of the visit: “As the crisis in Ukraine continues, we are travelling to Moldova and Georgia to gain an impression of the situation on the ground.”
“The deep concern with which our Eastern partners are watching the situation in neighbouring Ukraine is something we take very seriously,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.
The French Foreign Ministry said: “This first joint visit reflects our shared determination to strengthen our cooperation in order to ensure that the European neighborhood is a region of stability, prosperity and security. In these three countries, the two ministers will hold political discussions with the authorities as well as with representatives of the main parties.”
“The visit to Moldova and Georgia will mark our support for the signing, by June at the latest, of association agreements between the EU and these two countries,” the French Foreign Ministry said.
The two foreign ministers will meet their Georgian counterpart Maia Panjikidze, on April 24.
According to the German Foreign Ministry in Tbilisi Fabius and Steinmeier will also meet President Giorgi Margvelashvili; Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili; Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili and leader of the UNM parliamentary minority group Davit Bakradze.
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaliani, said on April 22 that the joint visit of the French and German foreign ministers is especially important now as it comes ahead of signing Association Agreement with the EU, as well as ahead of the NATO summit in Wales in September.
“This visit is yet another demonstration of support towards the course pursued firmly by Georgia – that is Euro-Atlantic integration,” Zalkaliani said.