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PM Gilauri meets UN Secretary General and Turkish officials in Istanbul

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, May 11
Georgian Prime Minister, Nika Gilauri met Turkish high rank officials and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in Istanbul on the sidelines of the UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, which is taking place on May 9-13. Gilauri met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish President Abdula Gul.

According to the Georgian Prime Minister’s administration, PM Gilauri discussed the issues of mutual cooperation between the two countries, including the subjects related to new investments by Turkish companies in Georgia and energy sector cooperation. “Turkey is one of our strategic partners, main trade partner. There are many issues which we have to discuss together,” Gilauri told journalists after the meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister.

He noted that the sides talked about a 500 megawatt electricity wire, connecting Georgia with Turkey and the contract about commercial management of the power line, which should be signed by the two countries. “At the same time we talked about joint management of Sarpi border crossing point and reached an agreement on this issue,” the Georgian PM noted, adding that Erdogan will arrive to Georgia in May and open the renewed customs service office at Sarpi border crossing point.

At the meeting with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, the sides talked about reforms carried out in Georgia in recent years and the situation on Georgia’s occupied territories, according to Gilauri’s administration. “At this stage, Geneva talks is the format, in which we have relations with Russia and in which we have a huge support from the UN,” the Georgian Prime Minister noted “extending Geneva talks and making steps forward in Geneva format will be very important. We have UN support in this direction,” he added.

According to the Prime Minister, the reforms carried out in Georgia were touched upon at the conference. Gilauri said the reforms were presented as an example for other countries. “The conference is about the developing countries. We talked about how these reforms can be carried out in other countries too and now Georgia can become an exporter of these reforms” Gilauri said.

The Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries is the “first major meeting on development of the new decade, and takes on the toughest challenge in the global fight against poverty,” the Conference press release reads.

“Georgia has been actively participating in planning development policy for the least developed countries and is considered as one of the main contributors,” Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze said “So, we received an official invitation from the Turkish Prime Minister to participate in the conference,” she added.

PM Gilauri will return to Georgia on May 13.