Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met his Georgian counterpart Tamar Beruchashvili on Tuesday (5 May 2015) during her first official visit to Berlin. Their talks focused on Georgia’s relations with Germany and the European Union, as well as on the situation in the region and Ukraine.
Close bilateral relations
After their talks, Steinmeier and Beruchashvili underlined the close relations between their two countries during a press conference with German and Georgian journalists. Steinmeier said that Germany and Georgia also enjoy excellent bilateral cultural relations. Prior to their political talks, they had met artists who are organising a German-Georgian Year of Friendship scheduled to take place in 2017.
Steinmeier added that various business initiatives, such as location marketing projects, had also been launched since his last visit to Georgia.
Commenting on Georgia’s economic role in the Caucasus region, Steinmeier said: “Obviously, we very much welcome the fact that your government is working with partners in the region to make Georgia a hub in what was once the Silk Road.”
EU Association Agreement provides great opportunities
EU-Georgian relations were also on the agenda. Steinmeier welcomed the recent EU-Georgia Association Agreement, saying it had opened “a new chapter” in European-Georgian relations and provided “great opportunities”. At the same time, the Agreement ertailed a number of “challenging reforms”, he said. Steinmeier underlined that Germany was willing to do “everything in its power” to support Georgia on its path to modernisation.
Germany stands by Georgia’s territorial integrity
The German Foreign Minister described the partnership treaties recently agreed between Russia and Abchazia and between Russia and South Ossetia as “unacceptable”. He had assured his Georgian counterpart that Germany naturally stood by Georgia’s territorial integrity. The two foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Ukraine. Steinmeier expressed concern, saying that “there were still a few grounds for optimism about the overall situation”.