Turkey and Georgia have agreed to establish a high-level cooperation council to further deepen bilateral ties, foreign ministers of the two countries said after a meeting in Ankara on December 9.
High-level cooperation council, which will be chaired by prime ministers of the two countries, will gather once in a year to discuss broad range of bilateral cooperation issues.
Georgian and Turkish foreign ministers, Tamar Beruchashvili and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, respectively, will be in the eastern Turkish city of Kars on December 10 where they will be joined by their Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov. It will be the fourth trilateral meeting of foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey since the launch of this format in 2012.
Speaking at a news conference after the meeting his Georgian counterpart, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu reiterated his country’s willingness to further promote bilateral relations, which, he said, is of “strategic value.”
He reiterated Turkey’s support towards Georgia’s territorial integrity and towards its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
1- Pleased to welcome Georgian FM Beruchashvili in Turkey, on her first official bilateral visit abroad pic.twitter.com/httXN0ofK9— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) December 9, 2014
According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, one of the issues discussed was repatriation of Meskhetians back to Georgia – survivors or descendants of a Muslim population who were deported by Joseph Stalin from southern Georgia in 1944. The issue is regularly raised by the Turkish side in its bilateral talks with Georgia, which undertook a commitment to repatriate the Meskhetians in 1999 when it joined the Council of Europe. Georgia adopted law on Meskhetians’ repatriation in 2007.
Georgian Foreign Minister, Tamar Beruchashvili, said that regional security issues, as well as Russia’s new treaty with breakaway Abkhazia, which Tbilisi condemns as a step towards “annexation of the occupied region”, was also discussed at the meeting.
Also on December 9 the Georgian Foreign Minister met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.