Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias visits Georgia

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias visited Georgia and met with his counterpart Mikheil Janelidze. In a joint press conference, Minister Kotzias said: “ I think what we agreed on and reaffirmed is important: that the relations between Greece and Georgia are strategic. Strategic relations means that both of us will try to deepen our relationship in all sectors: in education, economy, research, energy and other fields. A strategic relationship means that we will do whatever we can to bring Georgia closer to the European Union and to transfer to you our experience and knowledge, as an old member of the European Union, and that we will also learn from you, from your experiences (…) I wanted to congratulate you — though it is a small step, it is nevertheless a step — on the waiving of Schengen short-stay visa requirements for the citizens of Georgia. We hope that this imparts momentum to tourism between the two countries, because there really is beauty and beautiful people in both Georgia and Greece.

Minister Janelidze said: “We talked about our multifaceted collaboration and we decided that everything that concerns these relations in the sectors of culture, economy, energy, transport, science and education will be discussed on the level of the competent agencies and on the level of the Foreign Ministries of Georgia and Greece. We also talked about bilateral and trilateral cooperation that can be set up between Georgia, Greece and other sides.

On our course towards association with the European Union, we are very pleased at the help we have received from Greece. Today we talked about the next steps in this association, about the liberalisation of the Schengen short-stay visa regime for Georgians. It is very, very significant that the European Commissioner who congratulated Georgia, Dimitris Avramopoulos, is Greek. Nikos, too, has contributed significantly on this issue.

We talked about many issues, about ways in which we can deepen our relations, import good practices from Greece, so that our citizens, too, can profit from our cooperation.

We also talked about the problems that exist in regions of Georgia that are under occupation. We talked about the territorial integrity of Georgia, and about the need to resolve these problems in a peaceful manner and, of course, within the framework of international law. Greece and Georgia will do whatever is in their power to ensure more potential for cooperation, peace, stability, and to maintain the level of our bilateral and multilateral relations (… )Finally, I invite entrepreneurs from Greece, stating that we are ready with everything necessary to support them in various sectors, such as energy, tourism and communications. We are ready for synergies to be created between Georgian and Greek companies, for trade relations between the two countries to be strengthened, and for Georgian and Greek companies to set up franchises in each other’s country”.

SOURCE/PHOTO: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greece