The Georgian Foreign Minister has discussed with his Czech colleague issues relating to tourism cooperation
Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs David Zalkaliani spoke over the phone with his Czech counterpart, Tomáš Petříček. Discussions focused on issues relating to COVID-19 pandemic and various aspects of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
David Zalkaliani thanked his Czech colleague for the Czech Government’s solidarity and humanitarian assistance rendered to Georgia during the pandemic.
Special accent was put on prospects of restoring tourism cooperation between the two countries. According to Zalkaliani, Georgia will open up borders to foreign tourists as of 1 July, in accordance with WHO recommendations and through safe travel corridors.
The Czech Foreign Minister highly appraised the Georgian Government’s efforts and measures against COVID-19. He said that he supports safe tourism concept and looks forward to renewing tourism cooperation with Georgia.
David Zalkaliani thanked the Czech colleague for the Czech Republic’s firm support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for condemnation of the Russian Federation’s destructive activities continuing even amid the pandemic.
Tomáš Petříček reaffirmed that the Czech Republic remains committed to supporting Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
D. Zalkaliani has spoken over the phone with the newly-appointed Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, J. BayramovOn 17 July 2020, the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani spoke over the phone with the newly-appointed Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Jeikhun Bayramov.
Congratulating on the appointment, Zalkaliani wished his Azeri counterpart success in his new role as Foreign Minister. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment towards further deepening the friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries.Enquiring about the escalations at Azerbaijan’s border with Armenia, Zalkaliani received the latest information on the ongoing situation. According to him, there is no alternative to peaceful settlement of the conflict. The Georgian Foreign Minister expressed the hope that through the engagement of international mechanisms and of the OSCE Minsk Group, in particular, it will be possible to bring the peace process back on track and de-escalate the tension.
Within the framework of his visit to Brussels, David Zalkaliani, held a meeting with the EU Commissioner
Within the framework of his visit to Brussels, the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, held a meeting with the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy, Olivér Várhelyi.
The discussion touched upon cooperation within the format of the “Eastern Partnership Initiative”, including the framework of Ministerials for Foreign Ministers and meetings for the leaders of member states. Namely, the discussion took place regarding issues associated with the upcoming summit and future perspectives of the partnership beyond the year of 2020.
The parties, once again, exchanged opinions regarding the priorities and views of the Georgian side.
The Georgian party expressed gratitude towards the EU for the active support provided to Georgia during the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, the EU Commissioner gave a positive assessment of the steps taken on behalf of the Georgian Government in terms of preventing the spread of the virus.
The developments and general situation on the ground in the occupied territories was also discussed, condemning the illicit activity of the occupational forces, which only became more distinct during the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerns were expressed regarding the illicit detainment and arrest of the Georgian citizen on the 11th of July perpetrated by the occupational regime forces.
The role of the EU was underscored in terms of finding a peaceful resolution of the conflict, outlining the significance of the EUMM (EU monitoring mission) as a preventive force in the occupied regions on the ground, deescalating the situation via the means of the monitoring process.
David Zalkaliani on the repatriation flights to bring Georgian citizens home
At a briefing following the government meeting, the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani spoke about three opportunities offered to Georgian citizens wishing to return home.
Charter flights, which will be operated by two airlines: Wizz Air and Myway. The government subsidizes these flights, and maximum ticket price will be 200 euros. The charter flights will gradually bring home Georgian citizens from Warsaw, Athens, Rome and Madrid.
The Ministry of Economy is negotiating resumption of flights with various airlines. It is already agreed that Lufthansa will carry out two weekly flights. Negotiations are underway with Air Baltic and Air France on resuming regular flights from August.
Georgian Airways will operate charter flights from Vienna, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.
“I want to assure our citizens wishing to prolong this process that repatriation flights may be extended up to August and September, and this will be determined based on the information and analysis we receive every day from our embassies to the EU Member States” – Zalkaliani said.
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto paid a visit to Georgia
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto paid a visit to Georgia, on 6 July. He was hosted by his Georgian colleague, David Zalkaliani. The sides discussed issues relating to bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Following the meeting, the two ministers made a joint statement. David Zalkaliani thanked his Hungarian counterpart for the solidarity demonstrated by him, personally, in the challenging times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as for his visit, which is the first high-level visit to Georgia since the outbreak.
The Ministers took special note of the active and successful cooperation between Georgia and Hungary during the pandemic. The Hungarian Foreign Minister highlighted Georgia’s success in the fight against the virus. The ministers underlined the need to maintain a positive tendencies and to act carefully for the protection of public health.
“Georgia made considerable progress in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgia has the lowest infection rate in Europe, and I want to congratulate you on this success. Hungary too is successful in dealing with the pandemic. To maintain this achievement, both countries need to take careful steps as human health is first and foremost. Today we discussed the possibilities of opening borders. We quite understand Georgia’s motive for extending travel restrictions. As successful countries in the fight against the pandemic, we both take careful steps. Many Hungarians keen to arrive in Georgia. We agreed to create a working group to regularly exchange relevant information” - Peter Szijjarto said.
The Ministers highlighted that Hungary openly and unequivocally supports Georgia at both bilateral and international forums.
“Hungary is the firm supporter of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration. I can recall no such high-level conference or meeting where the Hungarian Foreign Minister has not expressed his clear support for Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Quite recently, at the NATO and EaP ministerial meetings, he again made very clear messages in support for Georgia” – David Zalkaliani said.
During their meeting the Ministers discussed the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories. David Zalkaliani brought to his colleague’s attention the difficult humanitarian situation on the ground.
Special note was taken of the successful education cooperation between the two countries. Today, as part of the Hungarian Minister’s visit to Georgia, Georgia and Hungary will sign a memorandum and an additional protocol on cooperation in the areas of culture and education, including in terms of granting scholarships to Georgian students.
The Ministers also spoke about the Hungarian airlines Wizz Air operating flights from the Kutaisi airport to Europe. According to the Hungarian Minister, Wizz Air successfully cooperates with Georgia and once the airline is fully up and running again, Georgia will be its priority destination. “An increasing number of Hungarians want to visit Georgia. Up to 7000 Hungarians arrived in Georgia over the past year. Due to the pandemic, however, Vizz Air reduced its flights not only to Georgia, but also to many other countries. Your government has always been supporting Vizz Air activities in Georgia. I am sure Vizz Air will reestablish its position in the world soon” - Peter Szijjarto noted.
David Zalkaliani added that Vizz Air is one of the important Hungarian companies in Georgia. “It plays an important role in advancing Georgia’s close ties with Europe” – he said.
During his visit Szijjarto will hold meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, economy, regional developments and education, as well as Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia.
Hungarian Foreign Minister will visit Georgia
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto will visit Georgia tomorrow, on 6 July.
During his visit Szijjarto will hold meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, economy, regional developments and education.
After the meeting with his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani, the two FMs will make a joint statement.
FM Szijjarto will also visit the Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II.
MFA press release