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Defence Minister Hosted EU Special Representative

Thursday, July 10
The European Union has a newly appointed Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Helbert Salber. Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania hosted the EU’s new Special Representative today.

At the introductory meeting, Irakli Alasania congratulated the new EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and expressed appreciation for his predecessor Mr. Philippe Lefort for his work and efforts through the years. The Defence Minister underlined that Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration is supported by more than 80% of the population.

The importance of signing the Association Agreement on 27 June was the main topic at the meeting. The sides also referred to the EUMM in Georgia. As the Defence Minister outlined, the EUMM remains an essential guarantor of Georgia’s security and stability on the ground.

The sides emphasized the participation of one light infantry company of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF) in the EU-led operation in the Central African Republic. They also talked about the EU mission in Mali. The sides discussed the security environment in the South Caucasus as well.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to the newly appointed Special Representative, as the EU has launched work to solve the territorial conflicts in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions with a new energy. The Georgian government will support new EU Special Representative in his work. Today we had an introductory meeting. I have explained to the ambassador the security environment and recent challenges in the region. I’m sure our cooperation will be productive. I also thanked the Ambassador for the EU and its member countries’ firm support to Georgia’s territorial integrity,” outlined Minister Irakli Alasania after the meeting.

“I am very pleased I had the opportunity to be with Minister Alasania to discuss security issues here in the South Caucasus today. I started my mandate just a few weeks ago. I came here to Georgia to get better acquainted with the positions of the Georgian government and the discussion here was very helpful for me in order to understand better Georgia's positions with regard to the security situation here, but also with regard to the Geneva international talks for which we are preparing a new round,” stated EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Helbert Salber.