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CHAIRMAN'S SUMMARY OF THE MEETING OF THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF ''NEW GROUP OF FRIENDS OF GEORGIA''

The New Group of Friends of Georgia – Estonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden, with participation of EU Special Representative for South Caucasus, as an observer, having the meeting in Vilnius on 13-14 September 2007, have discussed the most urgent issues on Georgia’s way to euro-atlantic integration and concluded, that:

-  Security, stability and territorial integrity of democratic Georgia is fundamental to the European security;

-  Solidarity of Friends in supporting Georgia is the key word;

-  Georgia is a true success story in making for the region and beyond, taking into account its social, economic and political progress. We support Georgia’s devoted aspirations to integrate with NATO and the EU;

-  Stronger cooperation between Georgia, EU and NATO will positively contribute to stability and security of the region and to better relations between Georgia and Russia;

-  Georgian security and prosperity is important not only to itself, to the region, but to the whole transatlantic community and securing such Georgian future will have a positive effect in the EU neighborhood;

-  EU has interests in Georgia and we will pursue them; and we warn against provocations of all sorts in South Caucasus.

Regarding Georgia’s relations with the EU the Friends have stated that:

-  Current EU visa policy vis-��­-vis Georgia, (providing lower visa costs for Russian passports holders in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia than for the other citizens of Georgia), is unjust and counterproductive and undermines Georgia’s territorial integrity and Europe’s security interests;

-  Friends are determined to conclude remaining bilateral readmission and visa free for diplomats agreements with Georgia in the nearest future to pave the way for broader EU-Georgia agreements on visa facilitation and readmission. We invite other EU countries to follow;

-  Friends will support Georgian efforts to conclude the visa facilitation and free trade agreements with the EU in the spirit of solidarity and through coordinated action;

-  Friends invite other EU Member States to support Georgian aspirations because they are important for further democratic transformation of the whole region.

Regarding Georgia’s relations with NATO the Friends (except Sweden, which is not a NATO member) have stated, that:

-  Friends feel the sense of urgency regarding MAP debate for Georgia;

-  Friends believe that Georgia is prepared for a MAP, which in itself is a tool for the stability of the region;

-  No country outside NATO has a veto right on the decisions of the Alliance;

-  Georgia is already a significant contributor to the international peace and stability (through its participation in NATO and other international missions).

13-14 September 2007, Vilnius

 
 
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