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GUAM ministers mark 20th anniversary

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, October 10
Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova (GUAM) celebrate 20th anniversary of the regional Organization for Democracy and Economic Development.

The event was held in Tbilisi and the foreign ministers of the four countries were in attendance.

The ministers held face to face as well as joint meetings, and signed a joint communique within the framework of the special ministerial on October 8.

Foreign Minister of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze, welcomed the adoption of the document saying the Joint Communiqué reflects the priorities to be discussed during the anniversary meeting of the GUAM Council.

“We have gathered in Tbilisi to discuss the future of GUAM. The Joint Communique and discussions we have held during the day serve this very purpose,” he stated.

After the meetings, at the joint press conference, Janelidze highlighted the progressive development of the Organization over the past 20 years saying the GUAM has managed to transform itself into a powerful political actor in the international arena.

“GUAM was established by friendly states that have joint interests and vision for more stability and development. Since its establishment 20 years ago GUAM has managed to develop political, sectoral and inter-parliamentary co-operation,” he said.

Janelidze also noted that the ministers have agreed to create a free trade zone.

“This agreement is of crucial importance for trade-economic relations and for enhancement of transportation corridor”, he added.

He also thanked his Azerbaijani, Moldovan and Ukrainian counterparts and the GUAM Secretary General for their arrival in Tbilisi to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization expressing the hope that through joint efforts, the existing co-operation will enhance even further not only among the GUAM Member States but also with the GUAM partners.

The GUAM Foreign Ministers were hosted by the Georgian Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Kvirikashvili stated that Georgia, as the Chair State, of the organization, is honored to host the GUAM Ministerial celebrating the organization's 20th anniversary.

Moreover, the meeting participants reaffirmed their readiness to take active steps to ensure regional peace, stability, cooperation, and economic development.

Special attention was paid to the priorities defined by Georgian Chairmanship and the vision discussed by the Council that seek to deepen cooperation between the GUAM participating states in terms of political consolidation, economic welfare, deeper sectoral cooperation, and people-to-people contacts.

The foreign ministers also met the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili.

In the evening Janelidze, together with the Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania, took the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Moldova Elmar Mammadyarov, Pavlo Klimkin and Andrei Galbur to renewed Agmashenebeli Avenue, where Georgian capital’s special festival Tbilisoba was underway.