Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Georgia Needs Support of International Community


While talking about relations with Georgia yesterday in New York at the meeting of European Union and NATO foreign ministers organised by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the parliamentary elections taking place in Georgia on 1 October must be free and all political powers must accept the outcome of the free elections. “The success of the parliamentary elections depends on the responsible behaviour of all political powers,” Paet noted. “Fair, free and transparent elections unite society and reduce opportunities for  irresponsible challenging of results,”  Paet added.

Paet said that we must also be understanding of the fact that only four years have passed since the war in Georgia and the country has not yet recovered. In addition, some areas of Georgia are still under occupation.

Paet said that Estonia supports holding a discussion on the further enlargement of NATO at the next NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in December of this year. “We also support holding a meeting of the Georgia-Russia Council within the framework of the meeting. Decisions regarding the further enlargement of NATO can only be made by NATO members,” he said.

Paet expressed hope that negotiations for the Association Agreement and free trade agreement between the European Union and Georgia will come to a close next year.

During the meeting, Paet confirmed Estonia’s support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Both European Union and NATO member states must clearly support Georgia’s territorial integrity,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.

In talking about matters related to Belarus, Paet noted that it remains important to continue supporting democratic powers and civil society in Belarus. “Regardless of the recent developments in Belarus, European Union Eastern Partnership remains an instrument through which to support changes in the country,” said Paet. “A crisis in diplomatic relations should not influence projects that are directed specifically towards supporting a developing the fragile civil society in Belarus.” He added that equally important to Europe’s support is the Belarusians’ own desire and willingness to carry out the necessary reforms.

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