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Georgian President-elect meets the diplomatic corps in Georgia

By Ana Robakidze
Tuesday, November 5
Georgian President-elect Giorgi Margvelashvili had his first meeting with the diplomatic corps and Georgian political analysts on November 4th, at Tbilisi Marriott hotel.

At the meeting Margvelashvili discussed future foreign and internal policy of the government with the head of the EU office in Georgia Philip Dimitrov, the head of the OSCE Monitoring Mission, Matteo Mecacci, and Ambassador of Kazakhstan Ermuhamet Ertisbayev.

Commenting on the upcoming Vilnius Summit, the President-elect said after the meeting that Georgia will sign the Association Agreement by September 2014, but before that, the country will have a lot work to do. He thinks that Georgia has succeeded on the way to democracy and in carrying out a number of important reforms.

"The Association Agreement, trade agreement and visa agreement are extremely important. They are institutional recognition of the fact that we are developing as an European country. Therefore, the Vilnius summit will be a historic and very important event, which will be followed by a year of very hard work. Hopefully by September 2014 we will sign the Association Agreement," said Margvelashvili.

Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, Philip Dimitrov, stated after the meeting with Margvelashvili that Georgia meets European Standards.

"The election process will have a positive impact on the Vilnius summit, because with every election Georgia is gradually strengthening the position that it satisfies European standards,” Dimitrov said. He added that various issues were discussed at the meeting with Mergvelashvili. The two mainly focus on the topics related to strengthening Georgian-EU ties.

"I met Giorgi Margvelashvili. It was not our first meeting. We discussed the various processes that are in progress in the country. Among them there are the issues related to the Vilnius summit. These elections will have a positive impact on the results of the Vilnius summit, as Georgia has proved that it acts according to European standards and after each election Georgia reinforces the idea that it is gradually coming into compliance with European standards. It was a very pleasant and interesting meeting and, of course, we will continue our cooperation in the future,” Dimitrov said.

President-elect is going to be more modest compared to his predecessor. Margvelashvili had announced earlier that he is not going to leave in a luxurious Presidential Palace located in central Tbilisi. According to Margvelashvili office will be at the State Chancellery and the government will place Georgian-American Technological University in the presidential palace.

“Money spent from the budget on such a luxurious building, will now go to students and their education,” Margvelashvili stated. He also added that the Georgian-American Technological University, planned to be opened next year, will bring a high quality education to Georgia.

"I don’t think the President's residence should be this big, and I think that the money spent on construction of the Avlabari residence, should go back to people. I raised the issue at the Political Board meeting, then I spoke with the Minister of Education and we decided to locate the Georgian-American University in the Presidential Residence. Accordingly, the President’s Administration will be located in the State Chancellery and the preparatory work is already underway," Margvelashvili said.