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Merkel states MAP is not on agenda

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, June 3
The German Chancellor stated that granting MAP to Georgia will not be a topic at the NATO Wales Summit this year. She stated that there are “other means” for appreciating Georgia’s progress and contribution to international peace. The statement was made after the meeting between Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili and Angela Merkel on June 2.

PM Irakli Garibashvili arrived in Berlin on Sunday for an official visit. The PM also plans to have a meeting with President of the German Parliament Norbert Lammert. Garibashvili will also address the Georgian-German business forum. The Prime Minister is being accompanied by various other ministers and vice-Speaker Manana Kobakhidze.

The prime minister stressed that Georgia received statements of support from Germany regarding the EU Association Agreement and the country’s territorial integrity. Gharibashvili assessed the meeting as significant and mentioned that the strategy of the Georgian government regarding Russia had a positive outcome.

Merkel positively assessed the Georgian government’s strategy towards Russia. She emphasized that none of the decisions made by NATO will be seen as a “green light” for Russia to take aggressive steps.

Merkel also emphasized the importance of Georgian-German economic relations. According to the official information provided by the Georgian government, the German business sector has expressed interest in Georgia.

Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili said that Georgia hopes to sign a strategic partnership memorandum with Germany.

“It is important for us that Germany enters the Georgian market, opens companies in our country and employs more people,” Kvirikashvili stated.

Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Aleksi Petriashvili noted that the post-signing period of the AA with the EU will also be crucial for the country.

“We will require German assistance concerning reforms after the completion of the signing process. Germany is ready to support us in this regard,” Petriashvili said.

Professor Kornely Kakachia told The Messenger that Merkel’s statement is not final and might be changed when taking the international situation into account.

“I have the impression that the statement was made for Russia. Merkel was trying not to irritate Russia and told Russia that much depended on Ukrainian-Russian developments. In the case the situation between Ukraine and Russia is settled, our chance for NATO and EU integration decreases,” Kakachia said.

The professor noted that many countries support Georgia’s MAP ambition, even though Germany has always had a different attitude over the issue.

“There are some countries that are skeptical about granting Georgia MAP. Germany’s skepticism might have a negative influence on such countries – especially those that are already hesitating over the issue,” Kakachia said, adding that Germany’s position might change in the case of a geo-political revolution in the Black Sea basin, or some other important international event.

President of the PhD Club, analyst Tornike Shurghulaia, told The Messenger that Germany is a leading EU country, and active relations with Germany might have positive consequences for the country. The analyst also believes that Germany will somewhat change its attitude towards giving MAP to Georgia at the Wales summit this year.

“The international community has clearly seen how dangerous Russia is, and the international community will give Russia another chance to make some positive moves. If Russia fails again, the international community will exhaust all of its diplomatic resources. Despite the fact that Europe is threatened by an energy blockade from Russia, Russia will face serious sanctions.”