April 16, 2019

Iohannis meets Georgia’s Bakhtadze, underscores excellent relations between Romania, Georgia
Apr 16, 2019

Iohannis meets Georgia’s Bakhtadze, underscores excellent relations between Romania, Georgia.
President Klaus Iohannis on Monday welcomed visiting Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, praising the excellent quality of the relationships between Romania and Georgia, reflected also in the dynamics of the political dialogue in recent years. According to a press statement released by the Presidential Administration, the two officials discussed ways of deepening relationships between Romania and Georgia, the best ways of Romania supporting Georgia’s European and euro-Atlantic aspirations and interaction with the Black Sea zone in support of regional security and the latter’s economic development, capitalising on the direct connection between the Black Sea ports of the two countries. "The President of Romania praised the excellent quality of the relationships between the two countries, reflected also in the dynamics of the political dialogue over the last years. In this respect, the relationships can be promoted to the level of a strategic partnership, with the President of Romania and the Georgian Prime Minister agreeing on this goal." Iohannis pointed out that Georgia remains the main trading partner of Romania in the South Caucasus region and has encouraged initiatives aimed at stimulating and diversifying trade between the two countries, including by making the best possible use of interconnection possibilities. He welcomed the recent launch of non-stop flights from Bucharest to Tbilisi. Iohannis also praised a political commitment to the Black Sea - Caspian Sea freight route, with the participation of Romania, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Azerbaijan, reflected in a joint declaration on supporting the project signed by the foreign ministers of the four countries in Bucharest on March 4. He encouraged the optimisation of the direct transport routes between the Romanian and the Georgian Black Sea ports, a segment that can be used in this freight route as well as other wider connectivity projects linking Europe to the Caucasus region and Central Asia. Regarding NATO co-operation, Iohannis welcomed Georgia’s progress as an aspiring partner country, praising it for strong contributions to NATO missions, which proves that Georgia acts as a de facto ally state. The head of state highlighted Romania’s ongoing efforts at the level of NATO to support political dialogue and NATO’s practical co-operation in the Black Sea with the partner states in the region, including Georgia, focused on enhancing regional security. In this respect, he highlighted the NATO military exercise "Sea Shield 2019," also attended by Georgia that ended Saturday in the Romanian city of Constanta. Both officials agreed that security in the Black Sea region is essential to Euro-Atlantic security. Iohannis also spoke about this year’s 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership this year as an opportunity to mark the ongoing commitment of the European Union and its partner states, including Georgia, to deepen co-operation. He encouraged Georgia to maintain its tangible commitment to the EU and assured it of Romania’s support in this effort. Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze thanked Romania and President Iohannis for consistently supporting Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, showing that Romania is to Georgia a model and its "voice" inside the EU. According to the Presidential Administration, Bakhtadze expressed views similar to those of President Iohannis on the need to strengthen bilateral economic co-operation and insisted on strengthening the Black Sea links between Romanian and Georgian ports for freight transport, including on the Black Sea-Caspian Sea freight transportation route. AGERPRES (RO - author: Florentina Peia, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

[Read the article in Agerpres]

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