On Tuesday, 19 January, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, met with David Usupashvili, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, at the Saeima. The Chairman of the Georgian parliament is in Latvia on an official visit. “Reforms implemented by Georgia are bringing rewards, and I really hope that Georgians will soon be able to enjoy all the benefits of visa-free travel to the European Union (EU). I would like to congratulate my Georgian colleagues on the progress that has been achieved and wish you success in future work that will hopefully result in full and final Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia”, underlined the Speaker of the Saeima.
Mr. Usupashvili thanked the Latvian side for supporting the implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, to which Speaker Mūrniece responded by confirming Latvia’s future support to Georgia. Ināra Mūrniece stressed the importance of continuing the on-going cooperation, which would require the EU to play a more active role in promoting the economic growth of Georgia. Even though the Association Agreement has not been implemented yet, the signing of it has already led to an 8% increase of export volumes between Georgia and the EU.
The speakers of both parliaments also discussed regional security, and Speaker Mūrniece expressed her concerns about Russia’s attempts to destabilise the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. “Latvia firmly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognised borders”, underlined the Speaker of the Saeima.
Ināra Mūrniece described the cooperation between both countries as dynamic, involving active exchanges and visits at the top level. Both countries have also succeeded in strengthening bilateral parliamentary cooperation with top officials, parliamentary committees and parliamentary cooperation groups on both sides working very closely. Latvian MPs are keen to support Georgia through different international organisations like the EU, NATO, Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Mr. Usupashvili confirmed Georgia’s commitment to further the existing cooperation efforts, for instance, in education and between the administrative units of both parliaments, especially in areas such as parliamentary openness and the use of IT in the work of the legislature.
Speaker Mūrniece pointed out that Georgia is one of Latvia’s key development cooperation partners. She praised the successful joint projects that have contributed to the settlement of Georgia’s border issue, promotion of good governance and growth. Latvia considers it necessary to help Georgia implement its public administration reform.
The Speaker of the Saeima informed her Georgian counterpart that this year Latvia will be in charge of the Nordic-Baltic cooperation. One of Latvia’s initiatives is to bring all the speakers of Nordic and Baltic parliaments to Ukraine in February this year. Latvia’s presidency will also address some of Georgia’s priorities.
The Georgian delegation led by Speaker Usupashvili includes Tedo Japaridze, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Giorgi Kakhiani, Chair of Georgia-Latvia parliamentary cooperation group, Michael Machavariani, Chair of Health and Social Affairs Committee, and Victor Dolidze, member of the European Integration Committee.
At the meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, the Saeima was represented by Gundars Daudze, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chair of the F
oreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima and Lolita Čigāne, Chair of the European Affairs Committee.
Photos from the meeting are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/albums/72157663502745872
Video from the meeting is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrXBrrk44fA
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Saeima Press Service