“It is obvious that Europe has a fundamental interest in the success of the Eastern Partnership initiative from both a security and economic perspective”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said following talks with Georgia’s Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.

“Georgia is one of the frontrunners among the countries of the Eastern Partnership, having already signed the association and free trade cooperation agreements with the EU three years ago, while Georgian citizens have been enjoying visa-free travel on trips to the European Union for the past three months”, the Hungarian Foreign Minister highlighted.

“Hungary supports the Georgian initiative for a strategic dialogue to begin with the EU on security and defence cooperation”, he stressed, adding that “We expect progress especially with relation to the fights against terrorism and cyber attacks”.

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Mr. Szijjártó said Hungary is a committed supporter of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, and in the upcoming period will continue to support all efforts on the part of the country that are aimed at cooperation with NATO and the EU. “Hungary is also providing all possible assistance to the EU to assure the success of the Eastern Partnership”, he added.

The Minister pointed out that the EU is the only international organisation with a missioning Georgia, and 12 Hungarians are also serving in the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM). “Hungary will continue its presence in the upcoming period”, he said.

Mr. Szijjártó also spoke about the fact that in view of the role it has already played, and with which it has provided assistance to NATO’s operations as a non-member, Georgia deserves to finally be invited to join NATO’s action plan. If this does not occur, NATO will lose credibility, because it is also in the Alliance’s interests to prove to as many countries as possible “the existence of open doors”, he said.

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Georgian Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Viktor Dolidze stressed the importance of his country’s approach to the EU and thanked Hungary for its assistance in this process. He stressed that his country is implementing important reforms with the framework of the EU integration process and expressed his hope that Georgia would soon become a full member of the European Union and finally share its future with Hungary.