The Minister for Europe David Lidington and the Foreign Minister of Georgia Tamar Beruchashvili met in London today for the inaugural session of the UK-Georgia bilateral dialogue.
They discussed Georgia’s recent Association Council meeting in Brussels, recent political developments in Georgia and the region and their priorities for the bilateral meeting. Mr Lidington re-iterated UK support for Georgia as it works towards closer integration with the EU and NATO.
The aim of the dialogue, which was initiated during a visit by former Foreign Secretary William Hague to Tbilisi in May 2014, is to celebrate the existing strong relations between the UK and Georgia, discuss mutual issues of concern, and identify new areas for cooperation.
During the day of talks, the two sides will discuss issues relating to foreign policy, national security and defence, and commercial, economic and energy with a particular focus on issues where the UK and Georgia may be able to work more closely and to share knowledge and experience
As well as Foreign Minister Beruchashvili, the Georgian delegation includes the Deputy Minister for Economy and Sustainable Development Mikheil Janelidze, the Deputy Minister for Energy Mariam Valishvili.
The Deputy Minister for Economy and Sustainable Development and the Deputy Minister for Energy will meet Trade Minister Lord Livingston and attend a Business Forum facilitated by the British Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Other members of the delegation will hold bilateral meetings with their counterparts in the UK Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence, Home Office, and UK National Crime Agency.
In honour of the memory of Britain’s first Chief Commissioner to Georgia, Sir Oliver Wardrop, whose 150th anniversary was celebrated this year in both Georgia and the UK, the two sides have agreed to name the bilateral dialogue The Wardrop Dialogue.
David Lidington said:
I am delighted to launch the UK-Georgia dialogue today with Foreign Minister Beruchashvili. I hope that these meetings will strengthen further the already close relationship enjoyed by the UK and Georgia as it develops further ties with the Euro-Atlantic area.
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