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President of Austria pays first official visit to Georgia

By Ana Robakidze
Wednesday, May 20
President of Austria Heinz Fischer paid his first official visit to Tbilisi to discuss future cooperation with Georgia. Plans on bilateral relations were discussed on May 18, at the Presidential palace in Tbilisi, where Fischer held a meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Giorgi Margvelashvili.

“At the meeting we discussed issues related to both bilateral and multilateral relations. First of all we expressed our gratitude to our Austrian friends as they actively support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as our country’s aspiration to integrate with the European Union…we discussed the threats and challenges in the region; specifically, we talked about the Georgian and and Ukrainian tension with Russia,” President Margvelashvili said at the joint press conference after his meeting with Fischer.

According to President Fischer, he had many issues to discuss with Margvelashvili as the parties are planning to conclude several agreements on future cooperation.

“Within the visit we aim to come to several agreements, including concluding a memorandum which, first of all, will highlight our priorities in agriculture and environment protection. An Austrian business delegation is composed of the most serious representatives of economy and business, including representatives of infrastructure, modern technologies, transport projects, renewing energy and many other fields.

Our economic cooperation started on a very low level, to be honest, but now we really have ambitions to develop these relations,” President Fishcer stated at the press conference.

The Austrian President paid attention to cultural relations between Georgia and his country and emphasized the attitude both countries have towards music and art.

President Fischer also had a meeting with Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili and after the meeting the two opened the Austria-Georgian business forum on May 19. The forum hosted representatives of the largest business groups from both countries.

As a part of President Fischer’s visit to Georgia, a memorandum on agriculture and environment was signed between the countries.