Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy praised Georgia for its efforts in the implementation of the Association Agreement.

Mogherini made the statement following the 5th EU-Georgia Association Council held in Brussels on March 5.

“Georgia has made great steps in the implementation of our Association Agreement. This provides the basis for our political association and our economic integration. The European Union is fully committed to exploring the full potential of our partnership, including the export and growth potential offered by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area that we have in place,” she stated.

The High Representative of the EU also noted that the European Union granted Georgian citizens short stay visa-free travel to the Schengen area almost two years ago, adding since then more than 300,000 Georgian citizens have benefited from this and traveled to EU countries.

“This is one of the most tangible results that we have achieved together. We also spoke today of the ways in which we can address some problems related to this, but overall to make it sustainable over time. This is one of the main achievements, as I said, that we have managed to put in place for our citizens,” she added.

Mogherini also underlined that the EU supports the “Peace Initiative – a step to a better future” of the Georgian government, aimed at improving the conditions of the people living at the occupied regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

She thanked Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, who chaired the Georgian delegation at the EU-Georgia Association Council, for participating in the event.

“We have plenty of achievements that we can rightly be proud of, but as we discussed today, there is still work to do, potential in the relationship to make the most out of it, and more benefits to bring to both EU and Georgian citizens,” Mogherini said at the joint press conference with Bakhtadze and Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

By Thea Morrison

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