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FM Zalkaliani visits Germany before leaving for Strasbourg to take over CoE chairmanship

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, November 27
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Davit Zalkaliani paid an official visit to Germany and held meetings with top German officials before leaving for France. In Strasbourg, Georgia will take over the chairmanship of the Committee of Minister of the Council of Europe (CoE) for the next 6 months.

Zalkaliani met with the German Bundestag's Defence and Security Committee Chairman Wolfgang Hellmich to discuss Georgia’s NATO integration process as well as the situation in Georgia’s Russian-occupied regions - Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

According to the Georgia foreign ministry, Hellmich praised Georgia’s special contribution to NATO-led peacekeeping operations. The meeting also touched upon the difficult humanitarian and security environment in the occupied regions of Georgia, the policies of peaceful resolution of the conflict and the initiatives of the Government of Georgia aimed at de-escalating the situation, reconciling the war-torn population and ensuring their engagement.

The parties also discussed the global challenges and stressed the importance of active cooperation and engagement to overcome them. The sides emphasized the successful and intensive parliamentary cooperation between Georgia and Germany, as well as relations between the two countries in the field of defense and security.

Zalkaliani has also met with the President of the German Bundestag, Wolfgang Schauble.

“The existing situation in the Russian-occupied territories was given an acute evaluation, as well as the recent illegal detention of Doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili,” the ministry reports.

Foreign Minister of Georgia will be in Strasbourg, France, today where Georgia will take over the chairmanship of the CoE Committee of Ministers. The Secretary of State for European Affairs of France, Amelie de Montsalen, will hand over the symbolic key to the Georgian Foreign Minister as the future chair of the Council of Europe.

After delivering the chairmanship, the Georgian Foreign Minister will address the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and will introduce the priorities of Georgia's chairmanship: 1. Human rights and the protection of the environment; 2. Civic Engagement in Decision Making; 3. Child-centered justice - European experience in restorative justice; 4. Strengthening democracy by involving education, culture, and youth.

Within the framework of his visit to Strasbourg, David Zalkaliani will hold meetings with the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the President of the Council of Europe at the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

During the 6-month presidency, Georgia will organize up to 20 events within the Council of Europe.