The Parliament, within a Ministerial Hour, heard David Zalkaniani
“We live in an extremely changing, dynamic environment. Our geopolitical situation has been drastically changed during the recent period, which requires a prompt response and rapid adaptation to the new circumstances. These are the very objectives of our main 10 foreign policy directions within the 10-year plan, which is in full compliance with our foreign policy strategy and the Governmental program, as well as the Parliamentary Resolution and the Constitution, which implies the full integration of the country to the European and Euro-Atlantic structures”, - the Foreign Minister, David Zalkaniani reported to the Parliament within a Ministerial Hour.
The Minister introduced the report on the activity of the Ministry and overviewed the progress and achievements in foreign direction, stressing 10 priority goals.
The reporter started his report with the occupation and elucidated that on June 23, 2021, under the Governmental resolution, the Governmental Commission has been set up in view of development and implementation of the state strategy on peaceful resolution of the conflict and de-occupation, presided by the Minister. The international community has been actively informed during the year about the Russian occupation policy and actual annexation, illicit detention/abduction of Georgian citizens, ethnic discrimination of Georgians and deliberate disinformation campaign of Russia. The Minister stressed that the illegal actions of Russia in the occupied regions have been reflected in the documents by the partner countries and international organizations.
He emphasized the illicit detentions of Georgian citizens and underlined that the Ministry keeps active cooperation with the international partners in view of the elimination of illegal actions of Russia, fulfillment of the cease-fire agreement of August 12, 2008, by Russia, and de-occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. One of the key objectives of foreign policy implies the application for EU membership in 2024 and the obtainment of the status of a candidate country as of 2030.
Due to the pandemic, Georgia has taken significant steps towards EU integration in 2020. The Minister promised to direct active efforts to ensure the consolidation of the role of Georgia as the main partner of the EU and transformation of the EaP initiative, which implies increased focus on priorities of the participant countries on the basis of differentiation principle.
D. Zalkaniani overviewed the steps taken for NATO membership, including the clear reflection of the membership in the strategic adaptation process in 2030.
“Georgia welcomes the decision of the Alliance taken at the Brussels Summit to update the NATO strategic concept and approve it at the Summit of 2022. We hope that the open-door policy issues will be adequately reflected in a new strategic concept especially towards the Black Sea region”, - he stated.
The Minister dwelt on the relations with the main strategic partner – USA and stated that Georgia enjoys the support of both US executive and legislative branches, which is evident with the visits of the Secretary of State and Defense Minister of the US to Georgia as a demonstration of intact support and security in the region.
2021 was very active, he stated, in terms of the visits and legal support by the US. Speaking about the necessity of transformation of the existing formats to the strategic forms, he mentioned the balanced, partnership relations, oriented, mutually beneficial regional policy instruments, and underlined that Georgia’s foreign policy, as one of its key tasks, means the essential progress in terms of the bilateral relations with the European countries to facilitate the demonstration of the function of Georgia and accelerate the membership.
In his speech, the Vice Prime Minister summed up the economic diplomacy and outcomes.
According to him, active economic diplomacy is important for the development of the investment capacity and extension of the export market area for Georgian production.
He stressed the importance of the establishment of the Georgian cultural hubs and the engagement of diasporas in this process. He introduced the current and scheduled projects planned with the international partners and organizations and made additional elucidations.
Pursuant to the Rules of Procedure, the Ministerial Hour continued with the statements by the political groups and Factions.