EU — High Representative Catherine Ashton visits Georgia and Kazakhstan

The High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Policy/Vice Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Cather­ine Ash­ton will vis­it Geor­gia on July 15–16. She will launch the nego­ti­a­tions for an EU – Geor­gia Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment, vis­it the EU Mon­i­tor­ing Mis­sion (EUMM) and meet with the lead­er­ship of the coun­try. She will then trav­el to Kaza­khstan and attend the Infor­mal Meet­ing of min­is­ters of for­eign affairs of OSCE par­tic­i­pat­ing states to be held in Almaty on July 17.

Dur­ing her vis­it to Geor­gia HR/VP Cather­ine Ash­ton will meet with Pres­i­dent Mikheil Saakashvili and For­eign Min­is­ter Grigol Vashadze. She will launch the nego­ti­a­tions for an EUGe­or­gia Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment in Batu­mi on 15 July. On July 16 she will vis­it EUMM as well as loca­tions on the Admin­is­tra­tive Bor­der Line.

Ahead of her vis­it HR/VP Ash­ton said: “Geor­gia can rest assured that the EU will con­tin­ue to pro­vide sup­port in advanc­ing democ­ra­cy, rule of law and gov­er­nance par­tic­u­lar­ly under the Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­i­cy and the East­ern Part­ner­ship. We stand firm on our full sup­port to Georgia’s ter­ri­to­r­i­al integri­ty and wel­come its com­mit­ment to solv­ing con­flicts only through peace­ful means and diplo­mat­ic efforts. We encour­age Geor­gia to reen­gage with the pop­u­la­tions in the con­flict regions in accor­dance with its recent­ly adopt­ed Action Plan, in the inter­est of peo­ple affect­ed. The EU will remain ful­ly engaged in con­flict res­o­lu­tion efforts employ­ing a wide spec­trum of its instru­ments. The EUMM remains an indis­pens­able fac­tor for sta­bil­i­ty.”

From Geor­gia HR/VP Ash­ton will trav­el to Almaty for the Infor­mal OSCE Min­is­te­r­i­al Meet­ing, host­ed by Kaza­khstan who cur­rent­ly chairs the OSCE. For­eign Min­is­ters will dis­cuss issues relat­ed to the secu­ri­ty in Europe, address the sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan and Kyr­gyzs­tan and speak about pro­tract­ed con­flicts like Nagorny-Karabakh and Transnis­tria. On the mar­gins of the Min­is­te­r­i­al HR/VP Ash­ton will hold sev­er­al bilat­er­al meet­ings, includ­ing with the Pres­i­dent and For­eign Min­is­ter of Kaza­khstan.

Back­ground

On Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ment nego­ti­a­tions: The EU is launch­ing the nego­ti­a­tions on the Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ments with Geor­gia (on 15 July), Azer­bai­jan (on 16 July) and Arme­nia (on 19 July). The main objec­tive is to achieve clos­er polit­i­cal asso­ci­a­tion and grad­ual eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion between the EU and the three South­ern Cau­casian coun­tries. The EU is cur­rent­ly nego­ti­at­ing sim­i­lar Asso­ci­a­tion Agree­ments with Ukraine and Moldo­va.

On EUMM: Since the 1st of Octo­ber 2008, the Euro­pean Union Mon­i­tor­ing Mis­sion (EUMM) in Geor­gia has con­tributed to the main­te­nance of con­fi­dence, secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty on the ground. The 225 mon­i­tors are there to ensure all sides meet their oblig­a­tions under the imple­men­ta­tion of the peace agree­ments of 12 August and 8 Sep­tem­ber 2008, which have been bro­kered by the Euro­pean Union, and to con­tribute to sta­bil­i­sa­tion and nor­mal­i­sa­tion in post­con­flict Geor­gia.

For more infor­ma­tion see also:
EUMM Geor­gia
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/showPage.aspx?id=1512&⟨=en
Infor­mal Min­is­te­r­i­al Meet­ing, Almaty, Kaza­khstan, 16–17 July 2010
http://www.osce.org/conferences/inf_min_2010.html

Source:
Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union