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Estonia is Firm Supporter of Georgia’s EU and NATO Aspirations

12.07.2013

No 239-E

At an international conference on European Union integration and Eastern Partnership today in Batum, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that Estonia is a firm supporter of Georgia’s aspirations towards the EU and NATO.

In his statement, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the European Union values the stability and well-being of its neighbourhood and therefore gives focused attention to Eastern Partnership. “Eastern Partnership must be an effective means for Georgia and other partner countries to move towards the European Union,” emphasised Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

“The visa dialogue that began with Georgia in February has gone well, and an association agreement including a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement is in the final stages,” Paet noted. “We must give Eastern Partners a clear view to the future and recognise their progress thus far,” he added.

According to Foreign Minister Paet, in order for the integration process with the European Union to be successful, Georgia must focus on the development of a just and stable society that includes a well-functioning civil society, guaranteed rights for minorities, freedom of speech, and an opposition. “The upcoming presidential elections will provide an opportunity to demonstrate that Georgia is a successful and functional democracy,” Paet added, emphasising how essential it is that political powers behave responsibly after the elections as well.

Foreign Minister Paet also highlighted the importance of Georgia’s economic and trade relations with Europe. “To choose a European and Western path, Georgia needs to intensify economic ties. One opportunity to do so would be to create an economic space among the European Union and the Eastern Partners,” Paet added.

Additional information on the conference taking place in Batum, “Georgia’s European Way: The EU’s Eastern Partners – Towards the Vilnius Summit”: http://ge-europeanway.com/en

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