Liberal International

LI President Addresses Prominent European Politicians in Georgia

Hans van Baalen, voorzitter Liberale Internationale , maandag 15 juli 2013

LI-President Hans van Baalen MEP was key-note speaker at the annual conference 'Georgia's Way to Europe' in Batumi, Georgia. Van Baalen stressed the importance of close co-operation between Georgia and the European Union in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. He praised the progress made by the Georgian Dream Coalition of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Van Baalen publicly asked President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Ivanisvili to make the cohibitation work.

President Saakashvili's party, the United National Movement (UNM), very unfortunately boycotted the conference. Coming October, Presidential elections will be held and Georgy Margvelashvili, the incumbent Minister of Education, will run as Presidential candidate on behalf of the Dream Coalition.

Van Baalen had bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Ivanishvili, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili. Van Baalen also strengthened LI's contacts with the Speaker of the Parliament, David Usupashvili who is also leader of LI full memberparty, the Republican Party of Georgia and with Viktor Dolidze, Chairman of the Parliamentary EU Integration Committee, who is also leader of the Free Democrats.

Van Baalen strongly condemned the illegal occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russian forces. To him the Russian Near Abroad Concept is a direct threat to international peace and security. There are only two concepts in international law: Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs and nothing in between.

Photo: LI-President Hans van Baalen MEP and the Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili