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French President arrives in Georgia with message of support

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 15
President of France Francois Hollande supports the signing of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and Georgia’s territorial integrity. Visiting Georgia on May 13 the French President expressed his support for Georgia’s signing the Association Agreement in order to encourage economic relations.

“That’s why in the first part of my visit I will attend the forum of Georgian and French businessmen,” the French President said, stressing that the Association Agreement will inevitably be signed, but there are certain measures that should be taken by Georgia before signing the agreement.

“So there is no need to hurry. This may complicate the situation. This agreement includes the political part, which means adherence to political principles that Georgia shares European values,” Hollande said.

The President of France has also welcomed the decision of the Georgian government to join the peacekeeping mission in Africa.

President Hollande held his meeting with the Prime Minister after being greeted by the Foreign Minister. PM Irakli Gharibashvili welcomed the guest at the government`s chancellery. After the face-to-face meeting, the president and the prime minister met in an enlarged format. The sides discussed Georgia’s European integration issues, including the upcoming ceremony of signing the EU association agreement, bilateral relations and the prospects for enhancing these relations.

PM Gharibashvili thanked the French President for his support in Georgia’s European aspirations, sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-recognition policy.

At the Georgia-France economic forum, the French President reiterated the open support of his country to Georgia, its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In response, PM Garibashvili underlined the advantages of the Georgian business environment and welcomed Holland’s position toward direct investment in Georgia from French side.

"We offer a stable macroeconomic. Investors in Georgia will be offered multimodal transport, which refers to a combination of at least three means of transportation: road, railway, sea and air. The workforce is qualified and competitive,” he said.

Gharibashvili emphasized that after signing the Association Agreement Georgian –French collaboration and trade relations will become deeper.

During his meeting with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Hollande stated that the ceasefire agreement is not fully fulfilled and Georgia faces territorial challenges.