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Romania reiterates support for initialling of EU-Georgia Association Agreement

Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs Bogdan Aurescu reiterated on Monday, during consultations with a Georgian official, Romania's firm support for the full initialling of the Association Agreement and of the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Georgia, voicing at the same time appreciation for this country's progress in preparation for acquiring NATO membership.

Aurescu and Georgia's First Deputy Minister of State for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Dondua 'had an in-depth exchange of views on the concrete steps needed for advancing Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration process, a strategic objective the Georgian authorities have committed to and which enjoys Romania's active support,' the Romanian Foreign Ministry informs in a release.

The two officials hailed the substantial bilateral political and diplomatic dialogue and reviewed the calendar of the main activities envisaged for the next period.

Aurescu expressed appreciation for the recent elections organised in Georgia, voicing his opinion that this was a perfectly democratic process. He pointed out that the participation of Romania's Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean in the inauguration of the new Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on November 17 was a reaffirmation by Romania of its strong support for Georgia's Euro-Atlantic and European aspirations, particularly in the context of the preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.

The Georgian side highlighted Georgia's commitment towards its NATO accession goal, especially through the substantial contribution to ISAF and the bid to contribute to the allied post-2014 efforts in Afghanistan. David Dondua also presented the most relevant progress made recently as regards the reform of Georgia's defence sector. Aurescu praised Georgia's progress in what concerns the preparation for accession to the Alliance and reiterated Romania's support for NATO's 'open door' policy. He also mentioned the importance of Georgia's capitalising on cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance under the Annual National Programme and within the NATO-Georgia Commission .

The two officials also evoked the role of NATO Contact Point Embassy the Romanian diplomatic mission in Tbilisi is fulfilling between 2013-2014, as an important element for Romania's supporting, by public diplomacy activities and cooperation with the authorities in Tbilisi, Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The Romanian side reaffirmed the political and operational support for the activity of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia). Romania's substantial participation in EUMM Georgia (the first contingent by size of all the other EU countries providing personnel) is yet another concrete contribution of our country to international efforts to regulate the protracted conflicts in Georgia. The Romanian official also highlighted the support of the authorities in Bucharest for Georgia's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.