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First visa-free visit to Europe

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, March 31
The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, together with a Georgian delegation, paid his first travel to Lithuania without visas, after the visa-liberalization took effect on March 28.

The Presidential delegation included members of his administration, opposition politicians and Abkhazian and Ossetian citizens, from Georgia’s two occupied territories.

“I have come from an Eastern European country to an EU member country, together with the members of different Georgian ethnic groups and we are delighted that our relationship with Europe is further strengthened in this direction,” the President stated at the airport in Vilnius.

The official welcoming ceremony of President Margvelashvili was held at the Presidential Palace of Lithuania’s Dalia Grybauskaite on March 30.

Following the welcoming ceremony, the two presidents held a face to face meeting. Dalia Grybauskaite reiterated that Lithuania supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

“Georgia feels the support from the Lithuanian authorities and people every day, and my visit is another example of our friendship,” the Georgian President said.

The sides discussed the recent developments in Georgia’s breakaway regions, as well as situation in the Caucasus region as a whole.

Georgia’s active participation in various peacekeeping missions in order to contribute to global security was also underlined at the meeting.

Margvelashvili and Grybauskaite spoke about the upcoming NATO Summit, which will be attended only by NATO member states in May.

“The public knows that the NATO summit will be limited by the format, wherein non-member countries will not be represented, and I asked my friend Dalia Grybauskaite, who has protected Georgia’s interests during many international forums, to pay attention to our agenda and on my personal behalf express Georgia’s position at the summit,” Margvelashvili stated at a joint press-conference.

The President of Lithuania said she will definitely raise the issue of Georgia’s security at the NATO summit.