President of the German lower house of parliament, Bundestag, Norbert Lammert started a four-day visit to Georgia on February 12 with meetings with Georgian parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili.
Lammert noted “friendly” bilateral relations between the two countries and said after the meeting with the Georgian counterpart that the Bundestag has launched ratification procedures of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and expressed hope that the process will be finalized by the time of the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga in late May.
So far the Association Agreement, large part of which already came into force provisionally since September, has been ratified by the European Parliament and thirteen EU-member states: Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Sweden, Croatia, Denmark, Ireland and Poland.
Georgian parliament speaker Usupashvili said after the meeting, that Georgia and Germany have a long-standing “friendly relations, but this cooperation gained new energy in recent years both at the level of parliaments and heads of governments.”
“This visit by [the Bandstand president] is an expression of interest and attention existing in Germany towards our country and the region,” Usupashvili said.
He said that peace and security in the region was also discussed at the meeting.
“Germany plays a very important role in resolving these problems. The German government is well aware about Georgia’s problems, occupation of Georgian territories by Russia and threats that Georgia faces and these [issues] are taken into consideration by Germany in international [forums],” Usupashvili said.
Georgian President’s office said that bilateral relations, as well as regional security and situation in Ukraine were discussed during the meeting between President Margvelashvili and the Bundestag president.
During the visit the Bandstand president will also meet PM Irakli Garibashvili and Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili, as well as civil society representatives and head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, according to the German embassy in Tbilisi.
Lammert, who previously visited Georgia in 2006, will deliver speech on February 13 at a conference “the European Peace Order between Treaties and Conflicts”, organized by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).