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First meeting of Georgia-Turkey Strategic Cooperation Council to be held in March or April

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 19
The first meeting of the Georgia-Turkey Strategic Cooperation Council will be held either in March or April this year, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on February 17 in Tbilisi.

“The creation of the Council is very important,” Cavusoglu said.

“Our Prime Ministers met in Davos {in January 2016} and agreed that the Council will gather either in March or April. Myself and Georgia’s Foreign Minister will coordinate the event. We want the meeting to be very fruitful,” he added.

The Turkish FM stressed that Georgia and his country had many deals requiring either completion or signing, which would happen in the frame of the Council’s meeting.

Cavusoglu emphasised that Turkey intended to boost economic ties with Georgia and increase exports from Georgia to Turkey. He promised Turkish support to Georgia in the context.

“Our nations are connected with many projects; Batumi Airport, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil and gas pipelines among them. At the end of the year, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will also begin operation,” Cavusoglu stated.

Cavusoglu also said his country would raise the issue of Georgia’s membership into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) at the Alliance’s upcoming Warsaw Summit in Poland on July 8-9.

The Turkish official also highlighted Georgia’s advancement towards the European Union (EU) and mentioned the positive visa liberalistaion report in this regard.

The Georgian FM thanked the Turkish official for his support to Georgia in various directions and stressed that the non-stop functioning of the transport corridor connecting Europe to Asia, via Turkey, Georgia and other regional players, was of the utmost importance.

The Turkish official arrived in Georgia early on February 17 to attend the fifth trilateral meeting of the Georgian, Azerbaijani and Turkish foreign ministers.

He also met Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other senior Georgian officials.

Cavusoglu repeated with Kvirikahsvili that Turkey was eager to boost importing products from Georgia and enhance economic ties between the two nations.