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Mikheil Janelidze has highlighted Georgia’s democratic transformation and the situation in the occupied territories at the CoE Ministrial Meeting

19.05.2017, Nicosia – On 19 May 2017, Nicosia hosted the 127th Session of the CoE Committee of Ministers.The Georgian delegation led by Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze participated in the session.

Discussions during the session focused on the conflicts in Europe and the Council of Europe’s role in their resolution. The participants also spoke about such issues as the fight against terrorism, destruction of cultural properties and migration.

The Georgian Foreign Minister reaffirmed Georgia’s commitment to the Council of Europe’s main principles. According to him, ensuring the democratic development of Georgia is one of the government’s key priorities. “Ensuring the media freedom, strengthening the judiciary, protecting rights of all are our main priorities and we are glad to state that consistent and decisive steps have been undertaken in this regard. European and Euro-Atlantic integration agenda has been a roadmap towards a higher standard of democracy, security, peace and prosperity in our country.

Taking into account the dramatic transformation of Georgia we strongly believe that it is important to move Georgia from monitoring to post-monitoirng state in the PACE. This would be a well-deserved progress to my country as well as encouragement for the consolidation of democratic reforms and further promotion of human rights.”

Mikheil Janelidze paid special attention to the Russia-Georgia conflict, as well as to the difficult security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied territories.

The Deputy Foreign Minister also referred to the Decision of 3 May 2017 made by the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe, which states that Georgia, as the only sovereign State under international law over its regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, is still prevented from exercising legitimate jurisdiction over these regions due to the illegal actions of the Russian Federation.

The Minister also highlighted the importance of the Secretary General’s consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia. It should be noted that this report was included in the package of documents of the Ministerial Meeting and the participants had an opportunity to read the report dealing with the latest developments in Georgia’s occupied territories.

The Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe Member States reconfirmed their support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognised borders, and called upon Russia to comply with its commitments.

During the ministerial meeting, the Czech Republic assumed the chairmanship of the CoE Committee of Ministers. The Czech Foreign Minister outlined the priorities during the Czech chairmanship including the protection of rights of the most vulnerable groups, strengthening of the rule of law, support for the national and regional democracies and promotion of education.

On the sidelines of the visit, Mikheil Janelidze held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Portugal, Latvia and Cyprus. Discussions during the meetings focused on important issues relating to co-operation in bilateral and multilateral formats. Mikheil Janelidze thanked his colleagues for the support of Georgia including in the Council of Europe format.