Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili visited Chisinau on November 24 to meet with Moldovan President Maia Sandu, Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița and Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu.
Meeting with President Sandu
According to the press release of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both sides at the meeting with President Sandu reaffirmed the close partnership between the two countries “which takes on a particularly significant meaning in view of the common challenges and goals”.
FM Darchiashvili and President Sandu also drew attention and “welcomed” the “historic decision” to grant Moldova EU candidate status and Georgia a European perspective.
In this context, they also shared information on their respective progress in implementing the Recommendations of the European Commission and stressed the importance of “close coordination” on the road to EU integration.
“In this context, they referred to the Associated trio as an important format to achieve the goals set for the future,” the ministry stated.
FM Darchiashvili also “welcomed” the decision to postpone the next meeting of the European Political Community in Moldova and “expressed hope” that the format will help the two nations join the EU.
For her part, President Sandu pointed out that the war in Ukraine “seriously affects our energy and economic security” and stressed the need for “unity and solidarity between states”. […] to respond to current challenges.”
President Sandu also called for Moldovan-Georgian cooperation in the “fight against disinformation, which poses a major threat to any democratic country.”
Meeting with FM Popescu
At a meeting with his Moldovan counterpart FM Popescu, Foreign Minister Darchiashvili discussed bilateral relations and reiterated “Georgia’s willingness to further intensify cooperation and coordination in order to share knowledge and experience in its preparations [EU] Membership.”
In this regard, the Georgian Foreign Minister stressed the importance of the Associated Trio format, saying it was “clear evidence” of the “strong partnership” of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova on their way to the EU.
The meeting also focused on the security environment in the region, with FM Darchiashvili reaffirming “our full support and solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people”. Likewise, the Foreign Minister reaffirmed Georgia’s support for Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
After the meeting, Foreign Minister Darchiashvili emphasized that EU membership is the “civilizational choice that unites Georgia and Moldova”.
“The historic decision of the European Council in June formally opened the EU doors to our countries and consequently we were moved towards an enlargement package,” he said. “We also know very well that this success comes with a huge responsibility to ensure the highest level of political, economic and legal convergence with the EU.”
For his part, FM Popescu stated after the meeting that they “agreed to intensify economic ties, business-to-business ties, tourism ties and, of course, political-diplomatic ties.”
“We are planning to hold a businessmen’s forum next spring as well as to set up a working group to examine the feasibility and discuss with private partners whether there is enough interest in a direct sea connection between the ports of Giurgiulesti and Poti in Georgia that could allow us to to intensify our direct trade relations, but also to connect the South Caucasus region to the rest of Europe via Moldova,” noted FM Popescu.
In connection with the war in Ukraine, FM Popescu also said that he told Georgian FM that “Due to the barbaric Russian bombing of Ukrainian energy infrastructure on November 23, Moldova was without electricity for several hours”. “It is clear that Russia’s war against Ukraine affects every citizen of Moldova, regardless of their political or geopolitical preferences,” noted FM Popescu.
Meeting with Prime Minister Gavriliţa
The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that during the meeting between PM Gavrilița and FM Darchiashvili, both sides “noted with satisfaction the good dynamics in view of the exchange of high-level visits, which contribute to further strengthening and deepening of the ties between the two countries.”
FM Darchiashvili and PM Gavrilița also stressed “the need for further cooperation”, including in the reform process of the EU recommendations and the Association Agreement.
“During the meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, special attention was paid to the existing agenda of bilateral relations, including strengthening trade and economic ties and the effective use of free trade with the European Union,” the Foreign Ministry said.
For her part, Prime Minister Gavrilița stressed: “We are working in a crisis, but we are very determined to advance the reform agenda at the same time.”
“I am glad that Moldova and Georgia share many of our countries’ development visions,” she said, adding: “Everything we do is for the good of the people and our common goal – to anchor our countries on the European path – remains a priority in that regard.”
Meeting with Speaker of Parliament Igor Grosu
During his stay in Chisinau, FM Darchiashvili also met with Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu to discuss bilateral relations, the European integration agenda and the close coordination in this process.
Regarding European integration, both sides stressed the “special role of the parliamentary dimension and the active participation of the legislative body, also in the process of implementing the recommendations developed by the European Commission”.
In this regard, they noted the need to “intensify” cooperation between the two countries and in this regard “welcomed” the forthcoming visit of the Moldovan President to Georgia
For his part, Spokesman Grosu tweeted after the meeting: “Moldova and Georgia share common challenges but also common aspirations. Spoke with Ilia Darchiashvili about security in the region, Russia’s war against Ukraine, the refugee crisis and the European path.”
“Will continue to work together on key areas for our countries,” he stressed.
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