Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: It is Essential for Georgia to Continue on Path Towards EU and NATO

Urmas Paet and Gruusia välisminister Maia Panjikidze.

PHOTO: Välisministeerium

During their meeting in Tallinn today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said to Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze that Estonia hopes clear progress will be made this year in Georgia’s relations with both the European Union and NATO, reported Press Department.

Paet stated that Estonia supports the idea of concluding an association agreement and free trade agreement between the European Union and Georgia. “We also hope that the visa waiver action plan can be signed very soon,” he added.

The foreign minister also feels it is important to see progress in Georgia-NATO relations. “We highly value Georgia’s contribution to ensuring international security, for example through its participation in the Afghanistan mission,” Paet added.

Paet and Panjikidze also spoke about Estonia-Georgia bilateral relations. The foreign ministers expressed their satisfaction over the close cultural ties between Estonia and Georgia.

“At the Saaremaa Opera Days taking place this summer, the audience will be able to enjoy an opera performance from Georgia. There are plans inspired by Tallinn Music Week to organise joint concerts by Estonian and Georgian artists in Tbilisi this May. And filming is currently underway for the joint Estonia-Georgia feature film ‘Mandarins’,” Paet added.

Estonia and Georgia would like to build up a stronger foundation of bilateral treaties. “We would like to conclude agreements on roadway transport, co-operation in tourism, and social security,” added Foreign Minister Paet.

In addition, an agreement on the protection of investments would help to increase the number of investments.

According to Paet, Georgia remains a priority development co-operation partner for Estonia. “Estonia’s support has helped for projects involving civil society, vocational and higher education, entrepreneurship, and the development and promotion of good administrative practice to be carried out in Georgia,” said the foreign minister. Last year the Foreign Ministry supported 14 different projects in Georgia. “We are pleased that representatives of Georgia have also actively taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership,” Paet added.